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City Councilors to Implement Parking Plans for Downtown Charlottesville

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Parking meters in a lot by Water Street in Charlottesville Parking meters in a lot by Water Street in Charlottesville
Charlottesville's proposed resolution to add more parking meters Charlottesville's proposed resolution to add more parking meters
On-street parking sign in downtown Charlottesville On-street parking sign in downtown Charlottesville
Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

City councilors say 2017 is the year you'll see action when it comes to addressing Charlottesville's parking woes.

The Charlottesville City Council first approved a measure to add parking meters to spots close to and around the Downtown Mall last April.

City spokesperson Miriam Dickler says Charlottesville is still planning on going through with a pilot program that would install 157 parking meters. A previous proposal stated that the meters would charge $2 an hour, or in $0.50 increments every 15 minutes.

Dickler says the city anticipates releasing a request for proposal for metering equipment within the next 90 days.

"This year will really be the one where the rubber hits the road for all those plans," promises Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer.

Councilors say charging for on-street parking will free up parking for short-term shoppers.

“The idea of on-street parking is supposed to be churning, supposed to be short-term parking, supposed to be getting as many people coming in and out of retail shops and restaurants as possible,” councilor Kathy Galvin said.

“It makes people who might want to come in and do an errand downtown, feel they're worried they might not be able to find parking,” said councilor Kristen Szakos

Metered spots would replace many two hour on-street parking spaces around the Downtown Mall.

“All the traffic generated by the two-hour shuffle - when people who work downtown or are here for an extended period of time park and move, park, move. Each time they move they become traffic,” Szakos said.

Councilors are also planning for the new parking garage on the corner of East Market and 9th streets, on land the city purchased in November. The lot is currently used by Lucky 7 convenience store and the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant

They say that project should help address long-term parking needs.

"All change is hard to come to grips with, but they go hand in glove. This idea of having more structured parking, metered parking, off-site parking for employees, it's all part of a system," said Galvin.

The Charlottesville City Council says it expect to take up more parking issues over the next few months.

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