City to test extending 2-hour parking limit along 23rd Street until midnight, daily

Rosa Lara, president of the 23rd Street Merchants Association.

For a six-month period, the 2-hour parking limit along 23rd Street will be extended until midnight and will also be enforced on weekends following a vote by Richmond City Council on Tuesday.

Currently, the 2-hour parking limit along the bustling corridor has been enforced solely on weekdays from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Following Tuesday’s vote, the 2-hour limit will go to daily from 6 a.m. to midnight on 23rd between Bissell and Maricopa avenues.

The council voted in favor of enhancing enforcement hours for a trial period of six months, to ensure the new restrictions won’t negatively affect customers of local businesses or residents. The extended hours don’t necessarily mean the cash-strapped city will have to increase staffing cost for parking enforcement, as police say in the late hours or weekends they likely won’t monitor parking along the strip unless a business or resident calls in a complaint.

Merchants had been pushing to set a weekend time limit for parking, saying having no limit on Saturdays and Sundays has been hurting businesses. Vehicles have been staying in spots overnight and sometimes all weekend, merchants say, which has been turning away potential patrons who can’t find parking.

Owners of an auto dealership on the strip are also complaining that lingering cars with “for sale” signs are stealing business.

Rosa Lara, president of the 23rd Street Merchants Association, pushed for the parking limit changes.