GRTC considers opening lot to parking in the Fan District

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We first told you about the parking woes along South Davis and Cary Street last month. The GRTC is now working with neighbors to find a solution,possibly even open up its old headquarters to off-street parking.

This is prime real estate in the city, but as the environmental clean-up continues and decisions are made about what's built here, the GRTC is considering opening the gates to off street parking.

Kelley Davis came to NBC12 in October. She says parking on South Davis is impossible.

She's lived here for years.

"We want everybody to thrive in this area. We want the restaurants to do well and we want the residents to be happy," said Kelley Davis.

Her councilman Marty Jewell couldn't agree more.

"In some areas like this we've got a parking crisis," said Jewell.

The homeowners along South Davis have no alleys, no parking decks and no places for vehicles expect the street. And with 16 restaurants in a 4 block radius, the problem is only growing worse.

"We want the pride that there's such great establishments in their neighborhood versus tension that we're gobbling up their parking spaces," said Jake Crocker.

Jake Crocker owns a restaurant in the area and is the executive chair of the Uptown Civic Association. The group met with the GRTC this week to gather ideas. Everyone is now eyeing the only room to grow on this block, the old GRTC headquarters.

"The options are valet parking or pay to park or opening the lot where the restaurants are providing it," said Jake Crocker. "Another idea was possibly a shuttle that would be based out of there that would run around the neighborhood."

The GRTC has agreed to put up more street lighting and is researching what it would take to open the lot up to cars. The agency may need area restaurants to help offset the cost.

"It's a 170. Potentially 170 parking spaces, and that is enormous and that is going to affect all the restaurants and all the residents," said Jake Crocker.

The GRTC is taking all of the ideas from the community and will come back with a plan in the next few months.

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