Charlottesville launched its parking-space experiment last week, and we all — officials, businesses and customers alike — are wondering how it will turn out.
The system now requires payment for downtown on-street parking, a new policy, but at the same time provides one free hour of parking at the Market Street Parking Garage and reduces the price per hour thereafter from $2.50 to $1.50.
However, patrons who were used to getting two hours of free parking — not just one — at Market Street by having their parking validated no longer will be able to do so. The validation program has been eliminated for that garage. It continues for the Water Street garage, but that location isn’t always convenient for people who have business on Market Street or at Court Square.
The intent of the change was to force turnover in street parking, discouraging some people from hogging the spaces all day long while other people searched for open spaces.