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Raleigh city leaders mull night, weekend parking fees

Posted June 3, 2014

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— Raleigh City Council members are exploring the possibility of charging on nights and weekends for parking in the city-owned parking decks.

Staff on Monday presented some revenue projections if city officials opted to charge a flat $5 fee at night and on the weekends, when the decks are at capacity.

Parking in the city-owned decks is currently free after 7 p.m. and on the weekends, with the exception of special events. City data shows that Thursday through Saturday, the decks are often full, with the majority of drivers coming in after 10 p.m. and leaving after last call.

It would cost the city about $385,000 to install machines to accept payments electronically, instead of hiring someone to work at the exit booth during the overnight hours. City parking staff estimated the city could generate between $900,000 and $1 million.

The parking enterprise fund has been in a deficit since its inception, but the deficit has been slowly shrinking and now sits at $500,000. The general fund provides the additional funding to cover the gap.

Charlotte, Wilmington and Asheville all charge for off-street parking for nights and weekends.

Councilor Wayne Maiorano, who made the information request, said he was generally not in favor of increasing fees. But, he said, the city could be spending more to upkeep the decks. Parking on the evenings and weekends has historically been free to stimulate growth downtown.

Councilors didn’t make any decisions and expressed mixed concern.

WRAL.com has a content-sharing partnership with Raleigh Public Record.

45 Comments

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  • 426X3 Jun 12, 2014

    And Raleigh wants more people to come downtown? This will definitely help their cause. Yeah! Right!

  • goldenosprey Jun 11, 2014

    If you are willing to pay $6.00 for a warm beer, you probably won't mind paying $5.00 to park. Sad but true. "Wilmington does it..." is NOT a good reason. I refuse to pay for parking. If I'm going somewhere to spend $ on entertainment, there should be a place to park.

    I know Raleigh will be scrambling to replace $7 mil the GA took from it, but this is a de facto tax on young workers. The free parking is one of the pluses of Raleigh's underperforming nightlife.

    Unless consumers stand up and walk, making it not cost effective to charge for night parking, your money will be removed from you. But the American adage is "Give me convenience or give me death."

  • Viewer Jun 3, 2014

    Wow does anyone actually think that a $5.00 parking fee is going to discourage folks who can easily blow $75+ on an evening downtown? I'd be interested in reading from those who get by on a "McDonalds" dollar menu budget in the evening downtown.

  • Dana McCall Jun 3, 2014
    user avatar

    NO NO NO. (Unless you want people's social lives to flee back to the suburbs).

  • tarheelfan41 Jun 3, 2014

    I think this parking tax is a great idea. Its a voluntary tax paid by the people who use it. Best of all its a tax the younger liberal tax fans can pay and feel good about helping the government acquire more money to spend. It is very important our government finds new and more ways to get a higher percentage of its citizens money. They do know how better to spend our money than we do! Least you forget: "if you want more of it, subsidze it. If you want less of it, tax it."

  • Plum Tuckered Jun 3, 2014

    View quoted thread


    mee too! Or, more likely go somewhere else (where parking is free), to dine and dance.

  • Pierce McGroin Jun 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Would they use some of those funds to replace the security cameras that McLaurin Parking has taken down from the parking decks.

  • LivinDTR Jun 3, 2014

    Not cool. No No No.

  • Ty Shrake Jun 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Time for Raleigh Progressives to start living (and paying) like Progressives. Enjoy your own policies... It's for the Chillren! LOL!

  • Peter Kerstetter Jun 3, 2014
    user avatar

    When Raleigh introduced the new parking meters, people said they would never visit downtown. When Raleigh introduced the roundabouts, people said they would never visit Raleigh. People always threaten to never visit Raleigh.
    So far, I haven't seen any tumbleweeds.

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