New parking meters in Durham spark concerns for low-income residents
Posted February 28
Durham, N.C. — More than 1,000 parking spots in Downtown Durham were turned into metered parking this week, and Monday alone, there were over 1,400 transactions at parking meters. The city of Durham has hired 25 temporary staffers to help explain to people how the new meters work.
Some people were shocked to see meters in Downtown Durham which used to have free parking. Others said it's time to have paid parking like so many other cities.
Kati Ruark at Legal Aid on Main Street. They say $1.50 per hour for parking, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. will present an issue for many of their clients coming into the office.
“I think for our clients and people who are coming downtown, it’s a significant change,” Ruark said.
“We serve low-income people, as do a lot of the organizations on Main Street. So I think that any time that you ask for a couple of dollars from a low-income person, that’s a huge impact that would not seem like a big deal to a lot of other people.”
Others see the benefits to having meters.
“I think it will help with turnover. I mean I don’t want to get a ticket from it,” Jordan Hammond said.
Each spot has a time limit. The city said it hopes the meters will encourage people to get in and out, freeing up more spaces.
“In my opinion, I think they are good that people now can like limit up to whatever the parking meter says. And then pay something to the government, which eventually will get back in some other form,” Sunil Agarwal said .
The city said it will use the money from these meters to pay for improvements to other parking lots and facilities and also to build another parking deck.
Many people were worried about the weekends, but the city emphasizes the parking meters are only in effect Monday through Friday.