Metered parking at Lynchburg Community Market gets mixed reviews

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) If you've visited downtown Lynchburg, you're probably familiar with the community market. One thing you may not be as familiar with, metered parking.

"Some of the businesses over on the 1200 block and Main Street approached the city and asked the city what solutions we could provide to help increase turnover for vehicles parked," explains Lynchburg City Parking Manager, David Malewitz.

That solution led to the city testing a pilot program for parking meters.

There are two meters located in the parking lot. One is near the entrance and the other is closer to the front door. And it asks that you just follow a few simple steps. You press the start button, hit "1" for parking. Enter your license plate and then hit the print button.

"So far it's been both positive and negative. I've had to say we've gotten more positive about it than negative," Malewitz said. "We're working through some bumps in the road. As with any new program, you're gonna get some people that just don't like it."

Tammy Carter who owns the gift shop boutique Willow Breezes is one of those people who doesn't like the parking program..

"The first month I was down probably about 50 percent in sales. Nobody wants to come downtown and pay to park. You can go to the mall and it's free," Carter said.

However, not all market vendors have taken such a big hit.

"We have noticed some slight difference, but I really feel like this is going to iron itself we have not taken a big hit in business because of the parking," Steve Hackman who owns the cheese shop and Lorraine Bakery in the market, said..