Local News

Paid Parking Becoming A Necessity In Downtown Raleigh

Posted June 9, 2006

— Parking in downtown Raleigh can be a pain. And with more development on the way, it looks like visitors will really have to pay when they go to the area.

Parking is now off-limits on one section of North Avenue between Glenwood South and West Street. Right now it's not hard to find drivers willing to overlook the rules while hoping to avoid a ticket. But as big development booms, officials say they might not be that lucky.

"Urban parking really is different than suburban parking," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker.

Meeker said there are about 42,000 parking spots in downtown Raleigh. But as the number of street spots dwindles, paid parking garages will be the solution.

"It's an expectation -- the public quite often needs to be thinking about paying for parking and not looking for it free on the street," said Meeker.

"We have to get in the mindset that we'll have to walk a few more blocks," said Downtown Raleigh Alliance president Nancy Hormann.

Hormann said the changing face of the city will come with a need to keep some spare change in the car.

"As we grow in population and density, we're becoming an urban city," said Horrmann. "There are very few urban cities where you can park next to where you want to go."

That means that drivers who used to vie for street parking may have to start thinking about finding a garage. There are at least two new underground parking garages planned for downtown Raleigh. They will be located near the old convention center, and it's expected they will provide an additional 1,000 to 2,000 parking spaces.

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