Booted in South End? Growing Pains Affecting Drivers, Businesses

CHARLOTTE, NC — Population growth in South End is leading to parking pains.

WCCB Charlotte viewers reached out about the issue of towing in the area, and we checked.

Turns out, drivers and businesses are both dealing with the struggle.

$150 is how much Tristan Frye says it cost him to visit a South End bar for half an hour.

“In that instance, I felt kind of trapped,” said Frye.

He missed the warning signs outside Tavern On The Tracks, parked illegally and came back to a tow company chaining his wheels.

He says the attendant wouldn’t answer questions about who he worked for, gave a receipt with an out-of-state number, and forced him to pay up or risk getting towed.

Parking is an issue drivers, residents and businesses all seem to struggle with in the area as apartments and businesses pop up.

“It’s not really growing fast enough to accommodate the influx of people,” said Frye.

“It’s craziness. There’s people everywhere,” said one resident, Allyson DeLong.

The lack of parking also costs businesses money.

“We will have people say, ‘Oh, the rest of our party isn’t joining us now because there was no place to park in your lot.’ So, that leads to lost revenue,” said Greg Roderick, a partner at Tavern On The Tracks.

Roderick says he hears complaints about towing, but says renting less than 40 parking spaces for his customers costs the company more than $50,000 a year.

“It’s an expense that you have to protect,” said Roderick.

Roderick says employees warn people they’ll be towed if they aren’t customers. He says they’ll walk to neighboring bars and tell people to move their cars, but the tow companies sit in the lots monitoring it for them.

City Council Member LaWana Mayfield tells WCCB Charlotte that she hoped the light rail would help.

“Once it expands to other corridors,” said Roderick. “Maybe that outlook will work.”

For now, customers warn you:
“If you pull up and think this looks fine, double check. Because that might land you in a position where you’re having to shell out 150 buck,” said Frye.

I you ever have questions about why a company booted your car or are concerned with paying someone who won’t say where they work, CMPD says call 911 and an officer can assist you.