Pay-to-park coming to free parking lots in Downtown Lynchburg

Jan.1, 2019 patrons will start paying 25 cents for first hour

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Joshua Allen and Avery DuCharme flock to Downtown Lynchburg for its activities.

Come January 1 everyone else who visits Downtown will have to pay to park.

"There's a little bit where it stinks cause this was a free spot to come with the family," Allen said.

Besides seeing pay meters, drivers can also expect the Depot Lot, Canal Lot and Riverfront Lot to be paved this year along with the Jefferson Street lot late next year.

Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rates start off with 25 cents the first hour, $1 after that and $5 for the daily max.

"We come in on a lot of Fridays and I don't know if that will change our plans. It is nice that at least for Saturdays we don't have to pay," Allen said.

"It might be a little bit difficult to pay to park but if they're going to use the money to maintain the area like the park and parking lot, then I think it will be worth it," Ducharme said.

The city said they will see $39,000 in revenue, which will all go back to the parking department.

"So, for instance, right now we're making improvements to the lot. Some of that money comes out of the parking fund. We also look to do the beautification projects. We're doing a whole new way finding system with Downtown Lynchburg Association," Dave Malewitz, parking manager, said.

The city said business owners downtown and their employees will have the option to buy a multi-parking permit for $40 a month or the daily rate at the pay station. For patrons, its a change they're going to have to adjust to.

"It is what it is. I don't think it will deter us from coming downtown. I think they have a really good things to offer down here, especially for the kids," Ducharme said.

The Riverfront Lot will be the first of the four lots to be paved next month. The city said they will post proper signs to help direct people to other lots, while they pave the Riverfront Lot.