Petition Closed

Keep Free Parking for Downtown Charlottesville

This petition had 1,118 supporters

This petition is in favor of keeping free parking in Charlottesville, Virginia and in opposition to the City Council's proposal for paid parking downtown.

My husband, like many other citizens here, works and earns his living downtown.  He works in a restaurant where the hourly wage for servers is a little over $2 an hour not including tips, which are his main source of income. 

The proposed metered parking downtown for $2 per hour is basically his hourly earnings.  This is besides the fact that it is also slightly more than a gallon of gas.  This translates into roughly a half tank of gas being paid toward parking on a daily basis, which is like filling up more than twice a week.  Right now, he only fills up his car once a week.  With having to pay for parking, he would be paying the equivalent of having to fill up his car with gas approximately 3-4 times per week.  This is a lot for your average worker, not to mention for someone who also commutes an hour each way to work.

Parking in garages is no less expensive.  For people who work downtown and must commute there to earn a living and must park their car there, it is unfair to charge them for parking, as they are contributing to the vitality of Charlottesville.

This is a greedy and entitled move that Charlottesville has made that is completely lacking in empathy.  It seems to be the next link in a chain of decisions that is making Charlottesville exclusive, such as kicking the homeless out of downtown. A community should be working towards inclusion and not the opposite.

Charging for parking will not attract visitors; it will deter them.  The city is not considering the businesses or employees who earn their living and pay taxes with this proposal.  And they are not even considering the consumer.  In all honesty, who wants to pay for parking?

I suggest city-sponsored parking waivers for all businesses and employees who earn their living on the mall.  No one who works downtown should have to pay to work there.  Charging money for tourism is one thing; extorting citizens is entirely another.

By signing this petition, you are strongly urging the City of Charlottesville to reconsider their parking proposal and to offer businesses and commuter employees alternatives that are viable and not taking away their hard-earned money.

Here is the url of a recent newscast about the issue:

Spread the word and thank you for your support!

Today: Ben is counting on you

Ben King needs your help with “City of Charlottesville: Keep Free Parking for Downtown Charlottesville”. Join Ben and 1,117 supporters today.