Main Street under strict towing enforcement
The city of Richmond has been conducting mass towing of cars parked in designated travel lanes on VCU campus for the past two weeks, police said.
On Monday, towing companies contracted by the city of Richmond towed at least eight vehicles in a 30-minute time span on Main Street. Students looked on as another seven vehicles were towed Tuesday.
The crackdown begins at the intersections of Cherry and West Main streets and continues to Harrison Street. The far right lane is a designated travel lane between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day.
The recent campaign has surprised students who are used to the rush hour travel lane not being enforced.
VCU sophomore Ryan Bui rushed out of class to rescue his car only to be told that he would have to ride with the tow truck driver in order to get his car back.
“I’m here, I can move my car,” Bui said. “But they won’t drop my car.”
In the past few weeks, VCU police have been showing up at exactly 4 p.m. on Main Street. The police are accompanied by a convoy of tow trucks ready to take illegally parked cars to the city’s impound lot.
The average cost to the motorist to regain their vehicle is $95, according to J-B Towing.
The convoluted wording on the signs could be to blame for students parking during restricted times. The signs have three different parts that read two hour parking between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., no parking on Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and no parking between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
“Those signs have been there since I was a student here,” VCU police officer Shawn Kelley said.
Kelly added that the lack of previous enforcement could be responsible for students ignoring the posted regulations, and the strict enforcement will continue until motorists stop parking in the rush-hour travel lane.