Parking in Carytown’s historically free parking decks will soon cost you. Starting mid-August, customers will have to pay a few bucks for the convenient spots.
Businesses are worried the change could drive customers away, saying it’s already difficult enough on most days to find a spot to park in the busy area.
Beginning August 12, people must pay $1 to park in either of the two city-owned parking decks for 11 hours.
City officials say the income will help maintain and upgrade the decks. But Byrd Theatre General Manager Todd Schall-Vess told 8News he thinks it’s a ‘terrible idea.’
“It’s just one or two bucks right now, but the fact of the matter is, people don’t need another disincentive to come downtown,” Schall-Vess explained. “Right now, they’re already frustrated with parking in Carytown. This isn’t going to improve that.”
Another area manager, Vincent Webb with Bygones Vintage Clothing, agrees with Schall-Vess.
“We already have to compete with much larger chains like Short Pump where you can stay all day and you don’t have to pay a dime to park,” Webb said. “Now, people are going to have to do some sort of shuffle to not stay here as long, or they’re going to have to go out into the neighborhoods where parking is already difficult.”
One local shopper said the small fee won’t deter her from coming to the area to shop.
“I’ll come no matter what,” Candace Mangum said. “It’s a very unique community and a lot of small businesses, so I will continue to support the small businesses.”