RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Quite a few folks in Richmond are having to pay up after noticing their cars are being towed off of Monument Avenue. It's all because of the UCI World Championship Bike Race, which is eliminating nearly 600 on-street parking spots along the course.
There are signs along the street to pay very close attention to. Otherwise, you may end up grabbing your keys, thinking you're going to your car, only to find it miles away at a tow yard waiting on you to hand over the cash. It almost looked like a parade of tow trucks Thursday evening.
It started at 5 o'clock sharp. John Reinhold wasn't even parked for that long.
"Just about an hour and a half," he says. Someone called and told him cars were being towed so he came to check. As luck would have it, he walked out
to his car being hooked up to a tow truck.
"They said the race didn't start until tomorrow," he says with confusion.
However, starting Thursday, all of the 575 parking spaces along Monument Avenue, from Davis Avenue to Belvidere, are off limits, making room for the bike course.
City leaders say they really are trying to make things more convenient for those impacted by these parking restrictions. It's why they've opened up Binford Middle and Fox Elementary to allow people to park overnight. That could mean walking miles back to where you live.
"Which would be really fun with me being 30 weeks pregnant," Jessica Fisher says.
It's becoming a headache for folks who live and do business at the center of the action.
"It's going to bring a lot of people and revenue but it's just, it's going to be a nightmare," she adds.
For Reinhold, let's just say he got off lucky after negotiating with the tow truck driver.
"He cut me a deal for $30 bucks and said he was sorry," he says. "He was nice, so that was cool."
Just don't expect them all to extend the same service with a smile over the next 10 days.
"I know they put the signs, up but this is a lot of area not to have people be able to park," Fisher says.
There's also another option for parking. You can park at the old GRTC bus depot at 101 S. Davis Street, which is actually offering parking space during the day, and it's free of charge.
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