Local News

Raleigh Mayor to Call for City Parking Overhaul

Posted January 19, 2007

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is expected to call for an overhaul of the city's current downtown-parking system during his State of the City address next week.

“One of the issues: Should there be paid parking on the best spots on the street right in front of the stores and free or less-expensive parking short-term in the parking decks?” Meeker said.

That was a recommendation of national parking expert, Dr. Donald Shoup, who was recently in Raleigh for a lecture on the price of free parking.

Meeker wants to hire a consultant to study downtown-parking issues, such as who should enforce any new rules.

He also wants to appoint a citizens group to work with the consultant on ideas and develop a parking commission, similar to the city's current planning commission.

In a developing downtown, there are also drivers such as Meredith Ellis, who complain there is nowhere to park.

“I kind of dreaded coming down here today to get something because I knew it wouldn't be a quick process,” she said Friday.

The mayor cringes at that perception.

Right now, there are 41,000 parking spots downtown. He believes managing them better is key to a welcoming and successful downtown.

Meeker hopes a consultant's report could be complete in the next five months. He wants the City Council to start making changes by fall.

The mayor's State of the City address is scheduled for noon Monday at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
6 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • superman Jan 24, 2007

    it should have been a "must do" beore they spend a couple million dollars redoing downtown. I worked downtown for 12 years- had to pay for parking-- didnt have an assigned space just the opportunity to park there is there was a space-- then i walked about 7 blocks to work. never been back to downtown since-- no reason to go-- they need a super walmart

  • jthiespowell Jan 22, 2007

    consider yourselves lucky....most downtowns of any size offer no free parking after hours. none.

  • YeahWhatever Jan 20, 2007

    Gearhead hit the nail on the head. How many of you are aware that NEARLY ALL of the decks are free of charge in the evenings and on weekends? My family and friends go downtown all the time without any great hassle. Parking is not a problem in Raleigh unless it's the middle of the workday. Even then, the decks really are not very expensive compared to anywhere else.

    If you want street parking 3 feet from the front door, then yeah, you are likely to be disappointed. You need a mindset change from the standard suburban shopping center.

    What they need are lots more signs that point people out and to make sure that surface lots that are free on weekends and after hours are *clearly* marked. That is a problem in many cases. The biggest improvement is that psycho tow truck companies finally seem to be under a bit of control. It took years, but it is better.

  • neptunescourt Jan 20, 2007

    The majority of the downtown parking decks and several of the open lots are owned by the city but they are managed by one company contracted by the city. The main problem is the people going downtown want a parking spot directly in front of the business they are visiting and are not willing to walk a couple of blocks to get there.

  • ladybug467 Jan 20, 2007

    IS it true that the same company owns all the "parking lots" ?

  • Fence Straddler Jan 20, 2007

    The Mayor definitely needs to be mindful of perception when it comes to downtown parking. People don't like going places when parking presents problems (whether it be location, amount of spaces available, congestion with pedestrians/traffic and most of all price $$$). I think Mayor Meeker owes it to his citizens and to all who visit the State's Capital City to make downtown parking a "Must Do" on his agenda.