We hear complaints and grumbling about downtown parking all too often. In our experience, the sentiment that there's no parking downtown seems to stem mostly from confusion around the options or lack of familiarity with the area. We want you to come downtown to enjoy all of the amazing places, spaces, and events so keep reading to demystify downtown parking.
Trying to simply communicate parking is, admittedly, not always simple. Add to that, we don't own or manage any downtown parking so we can't make changes to the areas that most commonly cause hiccups. If you want to become a downtown parking guru, read this post in its entirety. A little context can help in your decision making. If you just want our parking recommendations, scroll down.
First things first…..Public Parking versus Private Parking
If you’ve spent some time downtown, this may not be news to you but for those who are less seasoned……95% (not an exact number but you get the point) of the downtown parking is controlled by 2 entities.
The first is PARK Roanoke. PARK Roanoke manages the garages and lots owned by the City of Roanoke.
The second is Premier Parking. Premier manages many of the private lots downtown. Premier Parking rates vary by location, time of day, and even what events may be going on downtown. Their lots are often conveniently located but you will likely pay a premium to park there.
Because of this we’re steering you towards the PARK Roanoke operated parking. These lots and garages are also conveniently located and a great choice for your downtown trips.
A word about on-street parking
The allure of finding that perfect spot right outside your location is the holy grail of a visit downtown. You may be tempted to do laps around the area hoping a spot will open up at just the right time. But trust us on this, while it may happen on occasion, your best bet is to just decide where you’re parking before you hop in the car and go straight there. One caveat to that….if you’re heading into the less highly concentrated areas of downtown, on-street parking can be a convenient and easy to find option.
There are handicapped spaces in every PARK Roanoke garage. There are also many on-street handicapped spaces. If you have a handicapped parking placard or license plate, you can park in a timed space for up to 4 hours or a designated handicapped space for an unlimited amount of time.
Where Should I Park?
We've broken down three popular downtown areas (the ones that seem to generate the most confusion) and highlighted the recommended parking for each. Click each image for an interactive map that shows addresses and parking rates.
Any of the options shown will get you to your destination in, at most, a few blocks. Depending on how fast you walk, we’re talking 5 minutes or fewer. These options are inexpensive (most are $1 per half hour with an $8 max) or often free on evenings and weekends.
Another suggestion, if you’re heading downtown during a busy time (like mid-day Saturday) Center in the Square Garage sometimes fills up. We’d suggest heading for one of the other options shown.