Will parking fees crush downtown Raleigh? | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

Will parking fees crush downtown Raleigh? 

Start saving your pennies, Raleigh: Starting Jan. 1, you'll have to pay to use eight of the downtown public parking decks on weekends.

This isn't a new thing, of course. The City Council included a parking fee in its budget this summer, arguing that the city needed the extra money to offset increasing maintenance and cleanup costs. But downtown business leaders, led by Busy Bee Café co-owner David Meeker—the son of former mayor Charles Meeker and (disclosure) the nephew of INDY co-owner Richard Meeker—chafed, worrying that the new fees would scare off customers. In July, they asked that any new fees be phased in or confined to Friday and Saturday nights.

And the city reconsidered—or appeared to, anyway. Over the last several months, the Public Works Department has convened a series of meetings with downtown business owners to try to hash out a compromise. The final one was on Friday; the matter goes back to Council on Tuesday, after the INDY goes to press.

If Council signs off on staff's recommendation, public decks will charge a $5 flat fee for parking from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. Thursday and Friday nights, all day Saturday and for special events on Sundays. Employees would be able to buy a monthly pass, good for use three nights a week, for $30. The city estimates that would generate nearly $1.2 million a year. (Street parking will still be free on nights and weekends.)

"Our goals were to keep it simple," transportation operations manager Mike Kennon said at the meeting Friday. "Our goals were to try to minimize impacts to businesses while having a high level of service for the cleanliness and repairs of the decks."

This new proposal is something of a victory for downtown business owners. After all, the fee was originally going to be in place every night and all day on weekends, so the city did scale back. And it's not like most major downtowns don't charge for parking.

Even so, business owners aren't happy.

"It's taking a gamble on how people are going to react," David Meeker told city staff Friday. "My gut feeling is that not as many folks are going to come downtown, and there's going to be a big impact on the restaurant business and to retail on Saturday. If we want to be competitive with other retailers"—e.g., North Hills and Cameron Village—"where parking is free, it's going to be a problem."

Downtown bars are especially concerned about the impact the new fees will have in conjunction with the sidewalk-drinking restrictions that bar owners argue have already eaten into their profits. "This is going to bomb us out," said Parker Kennedy, who owns Caffe Luna. "This is not New York City. This is a town. You can't charge five bucks to park in a town."

Reach the INDY's Triangulator team at triangulator@indyweek.com.

  • Business owners worry about how the city’s new plan will affect their livelihoods

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

They are doing this for the exact same reason P.E. Trump is tweeting disparaging comments about the votes cast in …

by Sogno on A Desperate Pat McCrory Makes His Last Stand (Triangulator)

My grandmother would have me to cut a switch and give it to her when I misbehaved. I believe it …

by cityfox on A Desperate Pat McCrory Makes His Last Stand (Triangulator)

I know it's a little late, but to note the Indy's crystal-ball gazers and analyzers of Tar Heel state politics …

by Rataplan on Will Donald Trump’s Collapse Drag Down These Five N.C. Republicans? (Triangulator)

Promoting and supporting poor policy, like voter suppression, HB2, and extremely poor coal ash regulation, is despicable but human. Attempting …

by DR B on A Desperate Pat McCrory Makes His Last Stand (Triangulator)

Really though, this bolding thing is annoying.

by kevan on How Did Mike Morgan Win? (Triangulator)

Comments

They are doing this for the exact same reason P.E. Trump is tweeting disparaging comments about the votes cast in …

by Sogno on A Desperate Pat McCrory Makes His Last Stand (Triangulator)

My grandmother would have me to cut a switch and give it to her when I misbehaved. I believe it …

by cityfox on A Desperate Pat McCrory Makes His Last Stand (Triangulator)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation