Parking prices on the rise in Raleigh

September 26, 2013 1:55:13 PM PDT
You know the feeling you get when you snag a great parking spot? As of Monday, drivers will have to pay more for those prime spots in downtown Raleigh.

In the streets bound by Morgan, Wilmington, Lenoir, and Salisbury Streets, with Fayetteville Street in the middle, spots will increase to $0.25 for 15 minutes.

"Like everything that is more demanding, the price needs to meet that demand," said Raleigh's parking administrator Gordon Dash. "We felt like a 25 cent increase over $1 or 50 cents for two hours doesn't really represent a serious hardship for people coming to use downtown."

ABC11 found some people downtown in agreement with Dash.

"This is dirt cheap! You can get two hours for $1. In New York you've got to pay a quarter for 10 minutes!" driver Ernie Myers said.

But the fee increase seemed to strike a chord with people on the ABC11 Facebook page.

John Guss wrote: "Maybe they'll put that money to good use some day and build more parking garages. Raleigh desperately needs more parking."

Dash said parking revenue brings in about $12 million each year, and $8 million of that goes to pay the mortgages on the city's parking garages.

"Parking decks are very expensive to build and most people don't realize a parking deck will cost between $17,000-$45,000 dollars per space," Dash said.

On top of that, there are the costs affiliated with the maintenance of the parking meters.

"If there were no meters than people that work downtown would park in the street all day long and there would be no space for people to come down and shop or whatever," said downtown business owner Randy Parker.

That is what parking was like in the past.

"People come downtown for lunch because they can find a parking space where they never could have before," Dash said.

One big complaint drivers have is the parking control officers, some saying the officers come out of the woodwork one minute after their time expires.

Dash said that helps free up parking spots because people are mindful of how long they have parked because they paid for it.

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