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Free parking spots to disappear in downtown Raleigh

Posted November 24, 2008

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— Hundreds of free parking spaces on downtown streets will likely disappear in the coming months as city officials look to implement a comprehensive parking strategy.

City parking administrator Gordon Dash said he wants to transform nearly 400 spaces, including many on Fayetteville and Wilmington streets, into paid parking spaces. The goal is to keep drivers moving in and out, he said.

"The system as it currently stands makes parking look like a very adversarial system," Dash said. "The only way you can get people to turn over (spaces) is to issue tickets, and that's unsavory and I don't want that to continue."

Mayor Charles Meeker last year appointed a task force to develop a comprehensive downtown parking plan. The panel forwarded its recommendations to the City Council last week, and the council is expected to take up the issue by mid-January.

The panel called for expanding parking meters downtown, including metering spaces in the Glenwood South area and along Hillsborough Street. Rather than use "single-head meters," the city would use machines that would let people purchase up to two hours of time in a parking space from machines that would accept credit and debit cards in addition to cash.

Parking rates also would increase to $1 for one hour of parking and $2 for two hours under the plan. Hourly rates in municipal parking garages downtown wouldn't go up, officials said.

"There's room for lots of improvement," Dash said.

Downtown Raleigh Alliance President David Diaz said parking will become key to the success of the central business district. He said he will work with business owners during the next month to push the idea of additional meters.

"There's been more scientific study done to show a positive correlation between retail success and turnover on parking," Diaz said. "We've got to educate our business owners and property owners to see how (metering) would actually work because that's the only way we're going to pull this off."

16 Comments

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  • mcarter2 Nov 25, 2008

    Where do those employees who work downtown and do not have assigned parking spaces park? Some employees, such as me, are on a waiting list for an assigned space, but it does not look as though I am going to get an assigned space. Am I going to have to pay $8.00 a day to park so I can work? By the way, I commute and there are no convenient park and ride or vanpool options for me. I have to get to work no later than 7:00 am just to get a parking space now.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 25, 2008

    North Raleigh and Midtown should secede from Raleigh and form a great city without the Socialist agenda of Mayor Meeker and the Meekerville City Council.

    Then Mayor Meeker and the Meekerville City Council could fund as many white elephants like the new convention center as they want too.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Nov 25, 2008

    Another reason not to go downtown.

    I've only been downtown three times in the last year. Two visits were for business in a paid lot and one visit was to serve jury duty and I got a free parking pass for the days I was on the jury.

    There is no reason to go downtown. The best restaurants and stores are in North Raleigh, Midtown, and Cary where the parking is free.

  • 68_polara Nov 25, 2008

    Good luck with that Raleigh. Simply put, I don't shop where I have to pay for parking. It's like asking customers to pay an entrance fee to shop at a retailer. Why not put like 3 hour time limits where this is a problem?

  • rc4nc Nov 25, 2008

    "There's room for lots of improvement," Dash said.

    Guess they're scratching their heads wondering why no one ever comes to downtown Raleigh, personally I avoid it like the plague.

    PS: How's that multi-million dollar conventions center working out?

  • bushisaretard Nov 24, 2008

    What irritates me is all the empty - but with 24-hr towing - parking lots after 7 pm. The city should give the owners of these private parking lots a tax break if they open them to downtown patrons after 7 or 8 pm.

  • smitty Nov 24, 2008

    Europe has had a sensible parking solution since the 50's. Parking discs. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Disc-parking

  • getrealpeople Nov 24, 2008

    and then they will wonder why no one comes downtown?
    What happened? all because everyone has a handicap tag to park all day to get free parking.

  • applesmith Nov 24, 2008

    'SHOW ME THE MONEY'

  • foetine Nov 24, 2008

    what's the point of going downtown with all the prime dining joints going belly up?

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