Man on Third

Dear Ace: What’s the deal with Third Street access being restricted to pedestrians only? It seems like there’s vehicle access, but I’ve always been told to move when I park there. There’s nowhere to legally park for loading after 6pm, except at the far ends of the Mall. That is no help at all if you have a heavy load of music gear or anything else.—Adrien Roadie

Adrien: Ace is no musician, and he hasn’t the faintest clue how heavy musical equipment could be, but when it gets right down to it, he thinks you’re being kind of a whiner. Sorry, man, but isn’t being in a band all about impressing the ladies? How are you supposed to get rippling biceps and razor-sharp abs if you’re not heaving and hoeing down the Mall with an amp in your arms? You’re not, that’s how.

Of course, if anyone understands back-breaking work, it’s Ace (though he did it the old-fashioned way, at a 9-5 desk job). And so, he got Jim Tolbert, director of Neighborhood Development Services, on the horn to see if there’s anywhere to (temporarily) park it on the Mall. Unfortunately, Jim says, not at this point in time.

Just as you said, Adrien, Third Street is restricted to pedestrians. And, just as you said, there is no legal spot to park for loading after 6pm. There are spots on Market and Water streets, though (but again, not after 6pm). These are things we already knew (and confirmed with Mr. Tolbert). What Ace bets you didn’t know, however, is that the city is working on it.

“We’re doing a major study,” Jim says, “to see what we need to add and what changes need to be made.” This involves possible added parking and adjustments to certain parking hours around the Downtown Mall area. Jim says that the study isn’t expected to be complete until the end of July of this year. Ace would say something encouraging to help you hang on ‘til then, but that’s just when the study is finished. So hold onto your hi-hat; Ace sees a lot of walking in your near future.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 19 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to ace@c-ville.com.

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