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More restaurants are planned for William Street: Where will all the customers park?
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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However, city officials cannot just wish problems away by pretending they don't exist. That tactic has been used before with VRE parking and the negative impact it had on the Darbytown neighborhood, and the negative impact college parking issues had on the neighborhoods located near UMW. Debate over these parking issues was long and heated and finally resulted in a parking permit program for those affected neighborhoods.
Restaurant Row is not an island. It is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, where parking is already at a premium, because many downtown homes do not have off-street parking. Hedelt's parking concerns appear to be focused on "customers." What about homeowners whose taxes also contribute to city coffers? What about the the other non-food businesses located around Restaurant Row? Their customers are also
Rebecca Thomas refers to a rosy parking picture in Alexandria. I lived in Old Town Alexandria for 18 years and remember the controversy over parking. The issue was ignited when the balance of businesses in Old Town shifted from retail to restaurant/bar. Alexandria did not plan for parking. The folks who had pricey homes around the King Street corridor were angry that their concerns were not being addressed. Alexandria eventually built parking facilities that alleviated some
The Cary Street corridor in Richmond has major problems caused by lack of parking. Businesses and homeowners have weighed in and no one is happy.
Destination areas need parking. Lack of parking will not only anger residents, but it will drive away customers, who will tire of looking for a legal spot to park. Let's be proactive and start planning now for the parking needed to accommodate the cars a destination area brings.