RALEIGH (WTVD) --The price of spending a Friday or Saturday night in downtown Raleigh may cost you an additional five bucks. Starting New Year's Day, if you park in a city-owned lot after 5 p.m. you'll have to pay a $5 flat fee.
The City of Raleigh is making the change to bring in some revenue.
The City Council passed the resolution to start charging folks in November. Council members say the decks are being used and abused. Rowdy crowds are leaving behind trash, broken bottles, and even human waste. The city says the flat fee is going to pay for cleaning up the filth.
"They can say that all they want, but don't know if it's really true," Pace Austin said.
Some people don't think the change is a big deal, while others are having a strong reaction.
"$5 ain't nothing to park," Kevin Buttry said. "It beats paying for a meter."
Austin wasn't so receptive.
"I hate it. I hate paying the $5," Austin. "It makes me not want to come downtown. It makes me question, 'Oh, should I just stay in North Raleigh?' "
Restaurateurs have feared this would be the reaction to the fee and that it could hurt business.
ABC11 did see some drivers put their cars in reverse and leave the parking lot.
Attendants will be collecting cash Friday and Saturday nights through the morning until 3 a.m. at the following lots:
- Wilmington Street Station at 117 S. Wilmington St.
- Moore Square at 233 S. Wilmington St.
- City Center at 429 S. Wilmington St.
- Municipal at 201 W. Morgan St.
Parking in the four City decks will remain free from 7 a.m. Sunday until 7 a.m. Monday and after 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Fees at the City's other Downtown decks will stay the same. Also, on-street parking will continue to be free after 5 p.m. during the week and all day on the weekends.
Regular daytime fees to park in City decks Monday through Friday will remain in effect.
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