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Saturday, March 3, 2012

CIAA visitors are being gouged when parking

While CIAA 2012 is going pretty smoothly -- and about to wind down -- Friday, I saw some shenanigans.

First, I drove past the North Carolina Music Factory looking for the Winston-Salem State Alumni party and I saw that the venue, which usually boasts about free parking, was charging $10 to park in it's lots. As a matter of fact, the parking signs normally say FREE! Well, not today.
Notice the white sheet covering the word Free.


Then,  I went to dinner Friday night in South End. There's a parking deck behind the restaurant where I went to eat. Normally, it's free to park there. After all, Charlotte Center City Partners wants people to come to South End to eat, visit the galleries and the shops there and street parking is limited. Well, tonight that free deck was charging $10 to park there. And less than an hour later, the parking fee was $20.

Charlotte hosts big events all the time. I've never seen parking fees like this before. Not during NASCAR Speed Street and not this far from Center City. This is parking lot pimping at its worse. The CIAA visitors deserve better than this. The city of Charlotte needs to tighten up, because there are perceptions of racism in Uptown as it is.

Do you think you've been discriminated against while visiting Charlotte? Follow these steps to make your issue known.
The steps are simple:
1.    Stay Calm – Do not escalate the situation.
2.    Document – Photos and witnesses are critical.
3.    Escalate – Contact Charlotte’s Community Relations Committee (CRC) at (704) 336-2426 or online
at http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/crc/Pages/default.aspx and complete the Discrimination in Public Places form.

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