All good things must come to an end. For the patrons of Fayetteville, Arkansas’ entertainment district, free parking has ended. The parking lots surrounding the Walton Arts Center, George’s Majestic Lounge, and most of Dickson Street have changed over to paid parking lots or metered parking.
The City of Fayetteville has decided to change the city owned lots in the entertainment district to paid parking lots. This is to generate revenue for the city and possibly help to pay for a new parking garage. The Walton Arts Center is receiving some of the revenue generated from the paid parking to help pay for an expansion of the existing facility.
Fayetteville owns three lots in the downtown entertainment area. The city lots are gated lots that operate on a pay-as-you-exit basis. Upon entrance to the lot, a timed stamped ticket is given. You can pre-pay at a booth located in each lot, you can pay at the Walton Arts Center or you can pay when you return to your car at a booth located in the parking lot.
The city lots are located directly across from the Walton Arts Center on the corner of N. West Street and Dickson Street, on the corner of W. Spring Street and N. West Street, and on the corner of W. Spring Street and N. School Avenue.
The rates to park in the city lots is $0.50 per hour from 10:00am to 5:00pm and $1.00 per hour from 5:00pm to 2:00am. Daily rates have a maximum charge of $3.00 and evening rates have a maximum charge of $5.00.
Metered parking is available along Dickson Street and in the parking lot behind the Hog Haus Brewing Company. Metered parking is pre-paid with quarters.
There are several private paid lots in the entertainment district. A fee is charged to park there. The fees vary from lot to lot. Private paid parking is located in the Underwood Plaza, the lots between N. West Street and N. Gregg Avenue, and along N. West Street from W. Watson Street to N. Maple Avenue.
A chance to park for free exists if you do not mind walking a bit. Free parking on evenings and weekends is available at the Central United Methodist Church on W. Lafayette Street, in Fayetteville Square, at the corner of N. School
Avenue and W. Center Street, on W. Spring Street between N. Locust Avenue and N. Church Avenue. Availability of free parking is up to the property owners. There are no guarantees that a free parking lot will be available when you want to use it.
Time will tell if the change over to paid parking was a good idea. While gated lots and paid parking will bring in extra revenue; it may have the unexpected result of driving people away from the area.
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