A squeeze-here-watch-it-squirt-out-there effect is likely to occur in Alexandria soon as the result of the passage by the City Council last week of the city's first residential parking permit program.
Scheduled to run on a trial basis from January through the end of March, the program will place about 1,600 parking spaces in two Old Town zones under a three-hour limit for everyone except residents.
The result will be that as many as 1,300 employes and shoppers who drive automobiles to Old Town will have to park elsewhere or find alternate forms of transportation.
At the moment, the streets that probably will have to absorb the additional cars include Franklin, Jefferson, Green, the sections of Lee, Fairfax, Royal, Pitt, and St. Asaph that are north or south of the parking zones, and streets west of Washington street.
There has been mention in council hearings of working out arrangements with the Ramada Inn for use of its parking lot on the north end of Fairfax Street, but so far there has been no confirmed arrangement.
One other possibility involves creating additional parking spaces at the Torpedo Plant garage by putting in parking slot "lifts" that will piggy-back cars on top of each other. There is also talk, though so far there has been no action, of using parking lots elsewhere in the city.
Using parking lots outside Old Town might involve the use of short-hop feeder buses to bring people in from the satellite areas. City Manager Douglas Harman is known to oppose the use of such buses if the expense to the city is prohibitive.
Residents of the affected area generally backed the plan, claiming that persons employed in town and shoppers in for the day took up the parking spaces in front of their homes.
Business people opposed the permit program, fearing it would drive shoppers away from the city as the Alexandria retail and commercial boom continues to gather steam. At the council meeting in which the program was approved, Mayor Frank E. Mann said he had received a petition from 196 business persons expressing opposition to the idea.
Harman had proposed two 10-block areas on either side of King Street for the trial zones. The Parking and Planning Board broadened those zones to 15 blocks and 20 blocks, respectively. Two tiny areas on South Lee and Princess streets were added after residents there sent requests to be included to the council.
The vote in favor of the plan was 4 to 3. Mann was joined by council members Nora O. Lamborne, Robert L. Calhoun and Nicholas A. Colasanto in voting for the plan. Council members Donald C. Casey, Beverly Beidler and Ellen Pickering voted against it.
The council is expected to review the plan at its next meeting, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at city hall.
As matters now stand, these are the boundaries.
District I - South St. Asaph, Prince, Union and Gibbon streets and the 100 block of South Lee.
District II - North St. Asaph, Oronoco, Union and Cameron streets and the 600 block of Princess Street.
Residents who live within those districts will be able to purchase permits at local fire stations, apparently within the next several weeks. The first permit sticker will cost residents $2, and a sticker for a second car will cost $5. Temporary stickers for guests and people who regularly do business in the area will also be available, at no charge.
In the two zones, parking for more than three hours will be prohibited for nonresidents between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The ban will not apply at night or on weekends.
The penalty for violating the city ordinance is a fine of up to $50.