Protesting Police-Only Parking

silkyzephyr writes: On Monday morning September 9, a Charlottesville citizen sat vigil on a car parked illegally in a newly-created police-only parking space, demanding the return of public parking. The sign on his car’s windshield said: “An Act of Civil Disobedience at Mr. Jefferson’s Courthouse.” “The Sheriff’s Office has been trying to grab this parking from us for years,” he said. “They took advantage of the confusion created by the courthouse renovation to try grabbing it again.”

He moved his car only after City Traffic Engineer David Beardsley personally came to the courthouse and agreed to change the signs. The City has now agreed to return two hour public parking to the west side of Jefferson Street, and to limit the hours of police-only spaces so shoppers and church-goers can park there evenings and weekends.

As of today (Tuesday) the signs have not changed. It is unclear whether cars parked in what is currently a parking “twilight zone” without any governing parking regulations will be ticketed.

Because of the new police-only parking, the entirety of Jefferson street was devoid of cars on Saturday, and local businesses were starved of customers. A passerby noting the new signs called them “absurd,” and remarked “this really is not good for the downtown.”

“Thank you for standing up for us,” said local business owner Candace DeLoach to the protestor. The problem pointed to by silkyzephyr’s story is one that the city has failed to resolve for years. As public parking spaces are slowly taken away, new ones are not being created. What’s to be done?

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