Don’t be confused, drivers still have to pay to park in the main parking lot west of the Walton Arts Center after 2 p.m.
The 280-space lot at the southwest corner of West Avenue and Dickson Street was recently converted to a pay-by-number kiosk system just like the rest of the city’s paid parking in the entertainment district.
Sharon Waters, the city’s parking and telecommunications manager, said last month the change was in response to continued damage to the exit gates. Waters said late-night patrons repeatedly broke the arms off the gates, something that led to increased costs in both repairs and staff overtime.
New equipment was purchased as part of the conversion, which was approved by City Council members in February. The city paid about $67,000 for the four new kiosks that were installed by the exit east of George’s Majestic Lounge, near the exit across from Grubs Bar & Grille, and underneath the canopy across from the arts center entrance along West Avenue.
Officials said the gates will still be used when large events take place in the lot and during “Event Parking” times when the Walton Arts Center has a large show.
Kiosks will also be placed in the new 245-space parking deck being built along Spring Street at the south end of the Walton Arts Center campus. Officials still expect construction of the parking deck to be complete by late October.