Raleigh to crack down on parking to erase shortfall
Posted April 5, 2011 6:38 p.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2011 7:30 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — City officials are reviewing ways to raise more parking revenue, such as charging for parking in downtown municipal garages on nights and weekends and cracking down on unpaid fines, a City Council member said Wednesday.
The city's parking budget is projected to fall more than $1.4 million short of its budget in the 2011-12 fiscal year, officials said. They blamed the weak economy, lower on-street parking revenue than expected and an increase in debt service payments.
Officials are looking at various options, such as getting legislative approval to boot vehicles with unpaid fines or having the state Division of Motor Vehicles place holds on registration renewals until fines are paid. Raleigh has more than $2.5 million in unpaid parking fines.
"The city's not making enough off parking and it's obvious people don't like paying for tickets. That's the issue," said City Council member Mary Ann Baldwin.
She added that she favors prioritizing the collection of unpaid tickets rather than charging more for parking violations.
The city also could sell advertising space on city-owned parking decks and end the practice of free nighttime and weekend parking in the decks, officials said.
City officials are expected to consider these options at a budget meeting next week.