You may think street parking downtown is a pain, but it's a free pain. Maybe not for much longer, though.
The city has plans to begin a metered pilot program on one block near the market building at the end of this summer. It's among a handful of other changes to parking in downtown Roanoke.
Sometimes parking downtown takes a little bit of luck and a lot of patience.
"It gets a little tight sometimes, it's Sunday at 1 o'clock and it's challenging to park right now," said shopper Meghan Dill.
Based on a report the city did a year ago, they're trying to make parking make sense.
"We're really looking at a way to begin to standardize those times, increase them if it appears to be necessary," said Assistant City Manager Brian Townsend.
Beginning this month, Roanoke City is going to either change or eliminate parking times outside the core area around the Market Building.
"Provide a more consistent type of regulation so it's easy for the citizen to understand what the parking limits are so we don't have confusing signs and multiple signs on the same street," said Townsend.
For instance, in several areas downtown, there will be a 30 minute zone butted up against a one hour zone butted up against a loading zone all on one city block. In the area near the Market Building, the city manager will look at changing parking times and adding street meters.
Some shoppers are not too thrilled.
"I've gotten a bunch of tickets for those in DC and stuff not even realizing that I was at the wrong one," said Meghan Dill.
The city says the point of all this is to promote turnover, not revenue generation. Townsend says it's about getting more people in and out of downtown. Right now, free two hour street parking on Saturdays right near the Market Building doesn't promote that turnover.
The City will have crews replacing and removing some signs beginning this month. Townsend says the pilot program for metered parking would start at the end of this summer.