Cost of parking nearly doubles in Richmond on July 5

Cost of parking nearly doubles in Richmond on July 5

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In a little over a week, the fee to park in Richmond's downtown will nearly double.

It's going up by 50 cents on July 5 - from 75 cents an hour to $1.25.

"I'm very frustrated about that, because I come here to do business," said motorist Lauren Hope.

She's a small business owner.

"A lot of people down here who don't have a lot of money are trying to park. $1.25 is going to hit them in the pocket," said Hope.

The increase was approved by city council as part of the city's new budget. It was dropped in during that contentious budget battle while the school board was asking for more money. City administrators estimate the increase will bring in an extra $500,000 annually.

Russell Hess doesn't want to hear it.

"It's an inconvenience, and it hurts when you have to park here every day, and I have a truck so I can't park in the garage," said Hess.

Parking meters have generated nearly $9 million for the city over the last 10 years. We noticed a 35% jump in profits after the city started turning meters into solar-powered pay stations. Over the last three years, with the new pay stations in place, the city's averaged around $1.2 million a year in profit off its paid street parking.

The changes go in effect July 5, which gives the city a holiday week to reprogram all the meters and pay stations...and gives you a very short grace period to get used to the change.

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