Local News

Parking at a Premium in Downtown Cary

Posted November 29, 2007
Updated November 30, 2007

— As finding downtown parking spots becomes more difficult, Cary town officials plan to spend close to $60,000 to formulate a plan to create more spaces.

Ashworth Drugs has been filling prescriptions for more than 50 years, but that business is dependent on its customers easily finding parking, owner Paul Ashworth said.

"Businesses like ours can't survive without customers feeling like that you are convenient and easy to get to," Ashworth explained.

Other downtown business owners agree that traffic has picked up over the years, placing parking at a premium.

"We have a lot of customers that come in and they can't find parking, especially during the lunch hour," said Julie Luchene, a worker at Bedazzled bead shop.

The town government is holding a series of workshops to come up with ways to create more parking spaces downtown. However, planners are finding that paying for an open spot might be more painful than trying to find a free one.

"Right now, a structured parking facility goes for between $16,000 and $20,000 a space, so it's not an insignificant expense," Anne Morris, a downtown development planner, said.

Workers at Bedazzled worried that the cost of parking might be passed onto them and their customers.

"I think they need to create more parking, but not at the expense of the person who is coming down here to park," Luchene said.

Town officials said they have no immediate plans to create paid parking downtown. For now, their priority is planning and designing more parking spaces, officials said.

"The focus of the plan is looking to the future," Morris said.

Planners will use the results of a downtown business survey and feedback from Thursday night's meeting to create a draft plan, which they will present at a public meeting in January.

"I think that (planning) can't do anything but help the image that downtown is a friendly and safe place to be," Ashworth said.


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  • Mr William Nov 30, 2007

    Maybe they could use the red light camera revenue to pay C-Tran to shuttle people from the train station parking lot to the downtown businesses. They could re-locate the town-sponsored big road signs from another project to downtown to tell people when the next bus arrives.

    After hours, the local topless joint could help subsidize the same shuttle and cart their patrons.

  • Voice of Reason 23 Nov 30, 2007

    Yeah, but if you charge the businesses, they will just raise prices, and pass it along to the "people using the spaces."

  • 2MuchPork4Just1Fork Nov 30, 2007

    Downtown Cary is charming. And yes, the parking can be a challenge, but I like a challenge. Plus, for the Cary-haters of Wake & surrounding counties, the parking might be so aggravating that they just stay away. That just means more parking for me. Ha ha!

  • Jimm57 Nov 30, 2007

    Why would I travel to beautiful downtown Crabby, I mean Cary, and pay for parking, when I can go anywhere else (Cary Towne Center) and park for free? For a 'beads' store? Not really that into beads! Gimme a freakin' break Cary! You out do yourselves and deserve the jabs you get.

  • PaulRevere Nov 30, 2007

    $60,00 to "formulate" a plan? Teheheehehe

  • allison842 Nov 30, 2007

    Voice, I think the idea is that the businesses who benefit from the parking spaces should pay for them.

    And what do people bash Cary for?

  • Voice of Reason 23 Nov 30, 2007

    "I think they need to create more parking, but not at the expense of the person who is coming down here to park," Luchene said.

    This just made me laugh. So people she doesn't think that the people who use the spaces should pay for them. Ok, then who's responsibility is it to pay for them?

  • hkypky Nov 30, 2007

    Maybe we should go to "Year Round" Parking ... It works so well for the Schools, it has to be good for parking!?

  • whatelseisnew Nov 30, 2007

    Parking is the main reason I do not go to any downtown areas; Raleigh, Durham, Chapel hill, Cary.

  • miketroll3572 Nov 30, 2007

    Sounds to me like Cary is kissing Ashworth's bu$$. No need for more parking space in downtown, hardly anybody shops there anymore. I know, I live less that 1 mile from there and I don't shop in downtown. Whysomad needs to learn from their own words.