New Nashville street parking limits frustrating residents, employees

NDOT is now enforcing the two-hour parking limit at many parking spots in the downtown area.
Cars now have a 2-hour daily downtown street parking limit.
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 8:11 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Drivers going downtown for CMA Fest this weekend might want to find a garage to park in instead of a metered spot.

NDOT has rolled out new parking rules that limit where and when someone can park on the street in the downtown core to increase parking turnover, but businesses said their employees are being hurt by these changes.

Street parking meters can no longer have time added to them past a two-hour limit. A car must be moved to a parking lot or garage once time is up.

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The limit applies to all street parking in an area, so drivers can’t just move their car to a nearby street. The city is broken into seven parking zones, each with a two-hour daily maximum per car.

“It makes it a bit difficult to park for long periods of time,” Rumble Boxing employee Jack Kelly said. “We have to go outside, move our cars, bounce around.”

Rumble had free street parking spots right outside its front door for employees and customers for the first year the business was open in The Gulch, but that entire area is now metered under the new program.

Parking is now enforced 24/7 downtown, so people must pay to park for early morning and weekend classes.

“If I am here for 12 hours, I have to move my car a lot,” gym manager Matthew Pinkham said. “I will do two hours here, switch and go down to a parking lot and pay for that for an hour. Then I will switch to the garage and do that for an hour. Then come back here by that time.”

Pinkham said it is very frustrating constantly having to use the new kiosks and QR codes to pay for parking in order to avoid a $70 ticket.

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NDOT encourages people to park in low-cost garages at City Hall and the downtown Nashville Public Library, but there are no affordable options for drivers in other parts of downtown.

Pinkham said it can cost up to $25 to park for work. Musicians who perform downtown and people going out to eat in the area also have to deal with the new parking limits.

Rumble has started to validate parking for their 500 members who come for classes every day, but employees are hoping the city will bring back free parking options for employees.

“Just trying to figure out a solution and figure out the best way to move forward,” Kelly said. “But for now, just sticking together as a team trying to figure it out.”