In a drastic change in policy the city elders have decided it is time to shake things up a bit. Garrett Street is where almost all commuters who work on the downtown mall park. This has been the case for years. Due to excessive crime in the area it became a no parking zone from 9pm-5am (although the city likes to deny the crime but could never explain the reason for the parking ban at those hours). That 9pm cutoff was brutal on the local dining spots, since everyone wanted to leave early. On the other hand, it was great for local law enforcement in terms of income.

New signs begin to appear.

Two hour parking is about to become law.

In the past few days a number of the 9am-5pm signs began to vanish. Were they being stolen? Did they just need some fresh paint? Well, today the new signs began to appear. It won’t make the local commuters happy.

The 9pm-5am No Parking sign is gone.

The 9pm-5am No Parking sign is gone.

The commuter area is now going to be two hour parking during the workday (plus Saturday). An anonymous elder claims that this will bring more foot traffic to the mall and thus greater income for all Crapshaw-based businesses. People will only have two hours to pop in, buy, and leave. That is the theory. In reality thought, this will be the end of the C-Ville world as we know it.

A large number of people will become employed as car rotators, and entire businesses may take “moving minutes” every two hours to do a quick shift of a dozen cars. Two feet forward, one foot back.

The good news is that you’ll now be able to stay out late for dinner without having to worry about parking. Of course, your car might have a broken window or be entirely gone when you get back. How long will it be before people are brave enough to park overnight? That should be interesting.

These were the signs during construction, when some got buried.

These were the signs during construction, when some got buried.

An anonymous source says this is only the first step. Two hour parking meters are most likely to go in next spring. Two hours will cost you $2. The source is really hoping that commuters start using the parking ramps, which typically reach 65% of capacity during a typical day.

The next week or so might get a bit rowdy. I wonder if the YouTube footage of the C-Ville outrage and riots will get international coverage? OK…get to it people..raise some hell. Or else just give in and move your car every two hours.

Update: The following information has been sent to me. A parking report can be downloaded, along with a petition form. The following statement was received from Tipster S.

The only way we’re going to get our parking back (and keep the parking we have) is to call the City and complain (See contact below).

It appears based upon report, the City will convert almost all, if not all parking, around Garret area to either 2 hour or residential permit, includes Monticello.

Not sure what location the City expects full time downtown workers to park that do not have parking paid for in garages. The garages couldn't accommodate all full time anyway; they restrict the water street lot.

Contact person:
Donovan Branche
Assistant Traffic Engineer
(434) 970-3182
branche @ charlottesville . org