Nashville Musicians Upset Over Downtown Parking Problems
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Parking problems along Lower Broadway had local musicians singing the blues, and speaking out.
Musicians claimed over the last three weeks they have been ticketed countless times while unloading equipment for performances. They said designated "Musician Loading Zones" are always occupied with other vehicles, forcing them to double park, and end up ticketed. They said they are frustrated.
"We're not asking for much," said musician David Graham, "Just give us 60 seconds to park, let us unload our equipment so we can make a living."
Graham said during a shift change, hundreds of musicians could be fighting for limited spots in the loading zones. He said there just isn't enough room for everyone.
In an effort to avoid tickets, or double parking, some musicians said they park far away and walk blocks with heavy equipment.
"Musicians just can't make a living when they are paying tickets off time after time," said musician Ernie Fair.
Fair organized the frustrated artists on a Facebook page, and has encouraged people to document taxicabs, or other vehicles parked illegally in musician loading zones. He said the goal is to work with Metro Police and city leaders to find a solution.
"We're looking for a long term fix," said Fair. "We have got to resolve this."
Metro Police Commander Jason Reinbold said musicians are not being targeted in anyway. He said any car found double parked will be ticketed. He said police are aware of their concerns and are working to crack down on vehicles parked in their zones.
"They're not allowed to be there," said Commander Reinbold. "I've communicated this with officers. They need to regulate parking rules in the downtown area."
Commander Reinbold said police support musicians and the important role they play in Music City, and hopes a solution can be reached.
Metro Police, as well as musicians were hoping to meet with Mayor Karl Dean about the situation in the next few weeks.