Where's Raleigh's money from parking fees going?

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The city says much of the money is used to clean parking areas, but patrons say they don't see any improvements.

It's been eight months since new parking fees went into effect in downtown Raleigh and city officials say more than $410,000 has been collected thanks to the charge.

"It is newfound money," said Raleigh Parking Administrator Gordon Dash. "This additional money is really helping to meet the expenses that are being incurred because of the late-night program and the activities that often happen in the decks."

The city says the bulk of that money is going toward cleaning costs. So far this year, $240,000 has been spent to tidy up and 12 people have been hired.

Folks who park there regularly are having a tough time believing so much is being shelled out.

"$240,000 to clean parking garages is absolutely absurd," said patron Matthew Ray.

"I don't believe that," said patron Jaquon Brownridge.

"I think it's high, I think it's really high," said patron Shenia Wallace.

Jordan Holt lives downtown. She keeps her car in a city-owned garage and says for money that's been spent, the deck ought to be spotless.

"The garages are exactly the same as they always have been, exactly the same," she said. "They're filthy dirty. The stairwells are disgusting. They're not maintained at all."

The city implemented the new parking at the start of the year.

The City Council passed the resolution to start charging folks in November.

Council members said the decks are being used and abused. Rowdy crowds were leaving behind trash, broken bottles, and even human waste. The city said the flat fee would go to pay for cleaning up the filth.

Attendants collect money Friday and Saturday nights through the morning until 3 a.m. at the following lots:

  1. Wilmington Street Station at 117 S. Wilmington St.

  2. Moore Square at 233 S. Wilmington St.

  3. City Center at 429 S. Wilmington St.

  4. Municipal at 201 W. Morgan St.

"As long as there's people coming in and out of the decks at all hours of the day and night, this going to be perpetual cleaning that has to be done virtually 24 hours," Dash said.

Holt argues, "I've never seen an employee outside of the booth sweeping or cleaning up trash or doing anything."


"That's how it always goes with the city and government, there's always money getting pushed somewhere," Ray said.

The city said right now there are no plans to raise the rate at the four garages, but officials may look at charging at other decks down the line.

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