CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Starting next month West Side Market shoppers will have to pay to park, if you plan to stay for more than 90 minutes.
City officials say the growing popularity of the market and Ohio City has led to parking pressure and the new parking structure will relieve parking congestion and improve the overall customer experience.
Market visitors will receive a ticket upon entering the parking lot.
Some shoppers tell Cleveland 19 News that putting a time limit on the free parking will impact how long they shop at West Side Market.
"They're going to get in, get out, and do what they need to do," said Robert Faulkner, who went on his lunch break. "Nobody's going to spend time shopping anymore. you know, when you window shop, you can't do that anymore with a time limit. you gotta get in, get out."
Vendors, though, do see bright side. Some explained they have frequent problems with people parking in the lot, then going to bars or other businesses, taking up space for potential customers at the market.
"If it deters people from parking in the lot, so that our customers that are coming here to shop have a place to park, and then getting frustrated when they don't, and fifty percent of it is due to parking for the bars, I'm OK with that," said Lisa Keane, owner of Olive Cleveland.
Other merchants see a different issue.
They said they will not be exempt from the parking fee. Many of them tell us that puts an added financial burden on them and their employees.
"It would be nice if vendors would get a little discount as far as parking all day," said Yeugen Pylypiv, Junior. "Right now, it seems like it's an issue, a question, where are we going to park our cars. In this area, it seems parking is a little bit tougher."
Anyone parking between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. will receive 90 minutes of free parking.
After 90 minutes, parkers will pay a nominal fee of $1/hour.
The 90 minutes free is only from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. After 6 p.m. parkers will be required to pay $1 per hour.
The parking lot will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Previous improvements as part of the West Side Market parking project include an increase of more than 100 spaces and added lighting.
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