City of Lynchburg Seeks to Institute Paid Parking Downtown

A meeting was held by Lynchburg City Parking Management Thursday, April 12, to discuss its proposal of instituting paid downtown parking to deal with the limited parking availability in the downtown area of the city of Lynchburg.

During the meeting, David Malewitz, the parking manager for the city of Lynchburg, discussed the need for more parking and better parking enforcement in the downtown area, specifically in the areas around the Jefferson Street businesses, as the area continues to grow and attract more visitors.

“Our goal is to make sure (parking) is available,” Malewitz said. “When (visitors) come here to visit businesses and shop and dine that they come find a good place to park that is easy and convenient to where they want to go and have a great time.”

According to Malewitz, around 900 new residential units have been built in downtown Lynchburg in the last five years, in addition to many new restaurants and businesses. This, coupled with time limits on parking currently not being enforced, makes it difficult for downtown visitors to find parking, according to Malewitz.

Currently, Malewitz said there are 16 public lots for a total of 1,573 parking spots that are available for anyone to park in for free, in addition to free street parking.

According to the proposal that Malewitz laid out in the meeting, the proposed changes to downtown parking in the Jefferson Street area would include paid spaces within the lots with rates being $.25 for the first hour, $1 each additional hour and a $5 maximum parking fee for the entire day. Parking on the street would continue to be free for two hours with stricter enforcement on time limits.

The specific parking areas that will be affected by the new paid parking policy will include the parking areas by Riverfront Park, the parking area by the Waterdog and the parking area by Depot Grill.

The paid parking will only be enforced Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., while keeping nighttime parking and weekend parking free to visitors, according to Malewitz’s proposal.

The proposal also explained that residents and business would begin to pay for the parking they use in the downtown area. Residents would pay $25 per month for their parking permits and businesses would be paying $40 per month for each parking permit.

Malewitz explained that parking management, overall, strives for consistency over time in the paid policy program downtown, if the proposal is accepted when the board brings the proposal to the parking authority meeting in June.

“The goal is to have off-street paved parking cheaper and more expensive on-street parking,” Malewitz said. “Hopefully, as we get better at this, and if paid parking comes into fruition, we will have rates that people know and can pay.”

According to Malewitz, if the current proposal gets approved by the city council, paid parking will be instituted in the downtown area by late October or early November 2019.

Malewitz explained that the top objective of Lynchburg City Parking Management is to make visiting the downtown Lynchburg area easy and enjoyable.

“We are Lynchburg. We are becoming a great place to be, a lot of people are coming here and want to be a part of what we have here,” Malewitz said.

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