As of Friday, parking changes are now in place at some streets in The Fan. It's been a neighborhood battle for quite some time now to get students and business goers who park near homes to find somewhere else to park. Now, there's a plan in place and many residents say they're relieved.
The signs went up Friday just west of VCU make it clear that without a parking permit, you can only park there for one hour between 7 am and midnight.
"People park here all weekend long. They just be sitting there," says resident Susan Hankla.
She says it's more than a nuisance, it's a constant struggle.
"You drive around the block and go ‘hmmm doesn't look like there's anything available. Can't get near my own house'", she said.
It's because people who don't live here also park -- limiting spaces for those who do. She's had to walk blocks just to get to her doorstep.
"At the middle of the night, you're not sure how safe it is," Hankla added.
Many of her neighbors are excited to see new signs going up limiting parking access to visitors.
"Every time I come home after 5 o'clock, I never can park. I have to unload my groceries and there are 10 people behind me within a minute," said resident Laura Potter.
But some wonder if restricting people from The Fan is the best option.
"A lot of people come out here to go to the night places, restaurants and night places and stuff," says Rei Alvarez who works at Kuba Kuba restaurant.
He says his customers find parking already a hassle.
"It's a nasty $50 ticket. They always ask ‘are they really strict?'," he said.
So he's not too excited about new measures limiting parking to one hour at streets near his restaurant.
"If you're coming to one of these restaurants to hang out or maybe walk around….it's not enough time…A lot of times people have to wait a half an hour to get sat so there goes half an hour and by the time they sit down they got to run to wherever it is to check on their car and it just makes it uncomfortable," he added.
Student Ivan Kane questions the motive.
"I think it's a way where they can get more money," Kane said.
He says many VCU students park here to get close to campus. He doesn't see the issue.
"My roommate, she's an art major. She can't carry all the materials walking so she has to have a car," he said.
Sometimes parking near campus, he says is more convenient. As city crews enforce the changes, workers like Alvarez sympathize with their customers. He says even he's been hit with a parking violation while at work.
"It had no notice about where or why the ticket was given, it was simply you owe this much. When we get a $50 ticket, it's almost like working for free," Alvarez said.
Without a parking permit, you can no longer park for more than an hour on West Avenue and sections of Birch and Boyd Streets between 7 am and 12 am. Before the change took place Friday, the restriction was just limited to five days a week and ended at 9pm. Now the restriction will be enforced seven days a week and is extended from 9 pm until 12 am.
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