RALEIGH, N.C. — Recent employee/citizen surveys found parking is the No. 1 complaint people have about downtown Raleigh. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a new plan to prevent all the hassles.
Dave Permar owns a parking lot in downtown Raleigh. Until recently, he did not allow people to park at the lot at night.
"People will come here, park and bring their own beer and do all their drinking and socializing in the parking lot," he said.
Many lots are still off limits. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance believes the way to make parking easier in the area is to let people know where they can park. One idea would be to widely distribute new parking maps that clearly show you where you can park without getting towed.
"Anything to educate the public on where they can park and how truly easy it is will cut down on parking concerns, towing, tickets, everything," said Margaret Mullen, of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
The City Council wants the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to now provide more specifics on how to implement the plan.
Councilmembers also expressed interest in another idea that could open thousands of more spots downtown -- hire a parking liaison to operate private lots at night and make sure they are clean and clear by morning. It is a concept Permar implemented about a year ago.
"Overall, I'm pleased and I think it could work in other lots too," he said.
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance said it has worked to make night parking easier in other cities and they think it could work in Raleigh too. Officials hope to have more details on the public information campaign and a price tag within a few weeks.