LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Shoppers and restaurant-goers in SOMA will now see less free parking in the area with the addition of a meter in one of the lots.
Located just across the street from Raduno's and Midtown Billiard's, the public parking lot that hosts dozens of free spaces is now charging for parking. It previously remained free for decades.
"It's sad to kind of see it go, there isn't an alternative to this lot," Erin Paul said.
It is five dollars to park all day. It is three dollars to park for two hours.
"I promptly found a new spot that was equally as close because I didn't want to pay three dollars for two hours," Brock Hyland said.
The owner of the lot said the meter was put in place last Thursday. He said parking lots are not free to maintain and after resurfacing the lot and paying taxes, he felt charging people was the way to go.
"Certainly people who come to SOMA, which is a big draw, now are going to have fewer places to park," Paul said.
Outside of the lot and metered spaces, there are still plenty of spots on the side streets available for free and for anyone to use.
"I'm sure people are walking a few blocks now if they didn't bring the money or didn't plan to pay," Paul said.
Erin Paul lives a block away from Main Street. She said she is worried more people will start parking near her home to get a free space, making it harder for her to park.
"And most of us don't have driveways or anything of that nature so it is going to be right out in front of our houses," Paul said.
THV11 also spoke to business owners that did not want to go on camera, but some said they are worried it will deter people from coming to SOMA.
Pay-to-park in that lot will be enforced 24/7. The owner said there is no time when parking is free.