UPDATE: ROANOKE (WSLS10) - Parking in downtown Roanoke is an ongoing struggle. However, by the start of the new year, community members and visitors will have more options.
Park Roanoke and Roanoke City Council are moving forward with the first phase of a pilot metered parking program. Surface lots near the Higher Education, Gainsboro garage and along Church and Williamson Road will be converted into pay-by-the hour parking. Drivers can pay with cash, credit card or phone.
Hourly parking is meant to help customer turnover for area businesses.
"It's really all about testing these out," said Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill. "Our goal is to create more parking opportunities. Any new revenue that comes in will go into the parking fund to improvements to the garages and streets downtown."
Park Roanoke plans to survey the pilot program to test its success.
If this first step is successful, Park Roanoke plans to test out metered street parking in the spring of 2016.