Police flyers heat squabble over Fan "No Parking" signs | News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)- A squabble over "no parking" signs is causing some uncertainty in the Fan.
Richmond Police posted flyers earlier this week stating the "no parking" time slot on West Broad Street between Pine Street and Boulevard was set to change this Friday. The notices said new signs, with a "no parking" time of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., would be posted, instead of the standing of 11 p.m. to 4 a.m..
That caused a quick reaction from people in the neighborhood who say police acted too quickly. The Camel club and bar owner Rand Burgess, who was arrested over a parking dispute in June, says pushing back the "no parking" time slot to 2 a.m. only rushes out customers, who will be trying to avoid tickets.
"The signs need to come down. They should come down," said Burgess. However, Burgess thinks the reduction of the "no parking" time slot is a step in the right direction in encouraging business.
District Richmond city councilman Charles Samuels agrees. Samuels says that he understood that there was supposed to be more discussion on the signage decision, between police, city officials and the public.
"The police got a step ahead. Somewhere, crossed wires occurred, and (police) just started putting up these notices that said, 'We're putting up these signs. This is our decision. It's final,'" said Samuels.
Samuels says police are concerned that cruising (people riding the strip and loitering) and crime will return if the signs come down. However, not everyone is convinced.
"I think we really need fact-based evidence to present to the folks…that says this is why we need these restrictions. Otherwise, let's just keep a close monitor on whether or not cruising comes back, whether or not crime is in an upswing," said Samuels.
Some residents and bar owners also argue that a 2 a.m. "no parking" time could compel people leaving bars and restaurants to move their car, getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink, when they really should be calling a cab.
"We don't want our patrons...to have to move (their car) somewhere else. Why can't they just take a cab home, leave their car and have to come back and get it before 8 a.m.?" suggested Burgess.
Some neighbors also argue that there is not enough parking in the area, and opening up overnight parking on Broad Street would alleviate the crunch for nearby residents.
Samuels says there will be another public meeting to discuss the signs in upcoming weeks. Until then, he believes no signs will be put up or taken down this Friday. NBC12 reached out to Richmond police, but they said no one was available for a response at the time of this posting.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.