Customers, Merchants Furious With Charlottesville Parking Lot

By: Jessica Jaglois Email
By: Jessica Jaglois Email

April 24, 2012

What if your car was towed just minutes after your parking lot ticket expired? Customers and business owners near UVa's corner say that's exactly what's happening.

"It's hard enough in this area to find parking to support any of these business and this just makes it harder," said Nancy Peyton, owner of Headliners Hairstyles hair salon.

Peyton has owned Headliners for more than 20 years. She says ever since the attendant at the parking lot on Elliewood Avenue was replaced by an automated machine, if your ticket expires, even by a minute, your car will be towed.

Peyton says the change has affected her business.

"People will not want to come back and patronize your business if they have to put up with stuff like that," said Peyton.

Heartwood Books owner Paul Collinge says he often sees tow trucks waiting nearby for tickets to expire. He has even asked City Council to intervene.

"I want a parking lot there, just not one that tows away cars left and right," said Collinge.

Patron David Grubbs has been a victim of the parking lot rules. Earlier this month, Grubbs says he paid for parking, but forgot to display it in his dashboard. He says moments later his car got towed.

"I would say extortion. I'm going to tow your car regardless of the fact that you can prove that you paid for the time that you were here and you still have time on your ticket," said Grubbs.

According to an employee at Collier"s Towing Service the cost to get your car back will cost around $150. They also say they wait an hour, not a minute. The owner of the parking lot had no comment.

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