VCU Students Might Lose A Lot of Access to Street Parking

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VCU students might soon have a tougher time parking off campus. Residents in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood, which directly borders VCU and the Siegel Center, are pushing for more parking restrictions.

An ordinance making its way through City Council would expand the blocks which have permit-only parking. Only cars with decals would be allowed to park for long periods of time.

Non-decal cars are permitted for one hour. Other streets, with more businesses and less homes, would allow parking for a couple hours during the day. There are already streets in the neighborhood with these restrictions, but more would be added, with the new measure.

Neighbors tell NBC 12 it can take up to 30 minutes to find a spot near their homes, even longer when there are games at the Siegel Center.

“30 minutes if it’s packed,” said Gabrielle Frields, who lives in the neighborhood, of the time she spends hunting for a space.

“It’s usually packed by 8 a.m. Then around 7 p.m. is when we start seeing [the number of cars] go down,” said resident Jonathan Cook.

When the VCU Rams play at home at the Siegel Center, the parking situation becomes even more intense.

“Game nights are horrendous,” added Frields.

“I just try not to leave my house with the car if I know there’s going to be a game,” continued Cook.

Neighbors say the streets that already have permit-parking only are strictly enforced.

“[Parking enforcement officers] will ticket you about every hour. They’ll come and check to see if there are new cars to be ticketed,” said Jerome Legions, who also lives in the neighborhood.

Incumbent city council member for the district Kim Gray says she backs the people who live in the Carver neighborhood.

“[Residents] were here pioneering when the neighborhood wasn’t so exciting. And they’ve built it up, and I think that they deserve to be able to come home and park,” said Gray.

The Richmond City Council is set to discuss the new ordinance next month.

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