NORFOLK, Va. - There will soon be new pay-by-plate meters available for on-street parking on Boush Street.
The 114 parking spots between York St. and City Hall Avenue will no longer be free in the coming weeks. Meters will start being installed this month.
Leaders with the city tell News 3, "installing the meters on Boush Street from City Hall Avenue to York Street ensures effective turnover of parking spaces in support for business activity and visitors to downtown."
The meters will start at $0.45 for 15 minutes with a two-hour limit on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Like most places downtown, parking is free at meters on Saturdays with a two-hour limit and is free on Sundays with no time limit.
Last July, the city installed parking spaces along Boush Street as part of the Open Norfolk initiative. The decision to install the meters was made in December.
“There are certain things that I just feel like should be free," said Alex Varon, who lives downtown.
Varon believes one of those things should be parking.
“I live right over there on Granby Street, and I move my car every two hours to avoid the tickets that they like to give out," Varon said.
Kristen Williamson works at a restaurant downtown.
"When they put that parking in, I thought that was extremely considerate," she said. “Boush Street parking can sometimes mean everything, especially for my staff.”
Some people think the meters are a bad idea and say free parking attracts people to the downtown area.
“Honestly, it’s going to make it a lot harder on the people that support Norfolk," Williamson said.
In one of the comments on the News 3 Facebook page, one person who delivers for DoorDash says, "I won't even work downtown anymore. Pointless. No parking to make pickups."
Another person said, "How about you remove the parking... and go back to two travel lanes in each direction."
In response, the city says, "going back to a traffic lane remains a viable option in the future.
Varon, however, doesn't think that's necessary.
"Traffic on Boush Street has never been bad. There’s never been signifies backups or anything like that.”
Others on Facebook believe paying for parking shouldn't be a problem for people who want to support downtown businesses.
“There doesn’t need to be meters on every square block," Williamson said.
These multi-space meters will have multiple payment options, including Apple and Google pay as well as cash and credit cards, or pay through the Park Norfolk app.
You can download the Park Norfolk app to park at the links below: