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UPDATE: Parking changes set to begin in The Fan next month

Beginning next month, select blocks in the Fan will have 1-hour parking limitations all week, with more possibly coming.

By Nathan Cushing

According to Sharon North, the City’s Public Information Manager, the new 1-hour regulations for West Avenue will be posted by Friday, March 1st.

She said that similar changes to Park Avenue (1200 – 1500 blocks) and the 200 block of N. Harvie Street (see below) have completed the petition process, but have not been approved by the Fan District Association. It’s believed that the Association will vote on those proposals in a March meeting.

North said that the City has not seen a petition for changes to the 1500 block of Hanover Avenue, so the City is unsure as to how far along residents are in the petition process.

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The Fan District Association and West Avenue Improvement Association have persuaded the City to increase parking restrictions on select blocks of the Fan due to complaints of inadequate parking from residents. The restrictions will take effect next month, with additional restrictions still being considered.

Some think the proposed changes are new, but Councilman Charles Samuels (2nd District) said members of the West Avenue Improvement Association (WAIA) sought these changes over a year ago, and have since worked with the Fan District Association (FDA) and the City to implement them.

“I think other folks are starting to catch on that this is happening,” Samuels said by phone. He added that as long as residents are comfortable with the changes, he’ll raise no objections about them.

The changes will increase the 1-hour parking restrictions to 7:00 AM to 12:00 AM each day of the week. Those with Zone 1 parking decals or guest passes will not be subject to the restrictions.

Areas where these changes will take effect around March 1st include:

  • West Avenue (1000 – 1500 blocks)
  • Birch Street (from Park Avenue to alley between Franklin and West)
  • Boyd Street (from Park Avenue to alley between Franklin and West)

A member of the West Avenue Improvement Association, who asked to remain nameless, said she doesn’t see the proposed restrictions as a negative, and that a majority of other residents in the area feel the same way. “I think it’s only good for the city, and good for the residents,” she said. She added that as the city and VCU have grown, residents have felt a need to ensure themselves of adequate parking.

Steven Bergin of the Department of Public Works Parking Division said Fan residents have been pushing for these changes “for about a year and a half now.” He said that both the WAIA and the FDA had to get a majority of homeowners to go along with the changes, at which point the City approved them.

The WAIA is also considering whether to implement similar parking restrictions on other blocks:

  • Park Avenue (1200 – 1500 blocks)
  • Harvie Street (200 block from Park Avenue to alley between Park and Grove)
  • Hanover Avenue (1500 block)

Bergin said that WAIA has a majority of residents on board, but they have not yet formally requested the endorsement of the FDA.

He added that he’s begun the process of reaching out to area businesses–Kuba Kuba and others located along Lombardy Street–to seek their input on these possible changes.

The FDA will join a a West Grace Street Association meeting at 6:30PM on Monday, March 4th at Orchard House School to discuss the proposed changes with Lt. Erlan Marshall of the Richmond Police Department.

Residents are also encouraged to share their thoughts about the proposed parking changes with the Fan District Association Parking Committee at parking@fandistrict.org.

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