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Monday, June 29, 2015

Downtown Durham's (not-so-secret) free
parking spaces

Posted by on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 12:50 PM

You can see it from at least a block away, the dreaded iridescent orange envelope slipped under your car's windshield wiper. You've been ticketed.

Ten clams, OK, you might reason. That's only 2 more than if you had parked all day in one of Durham's city garages rather than a two-hour space. 

Well that orange envelope just got more expensive. As of Wednesday, July 1, the price of a parking ticket in Durham increases to $20.

OK, I'll try not to sound smug when I suggest you drive less and take the bus more, because many of you coming in from the hinterlands have no choice. But if you live within a mile of Ninth Street or downtown, ditch the ball-and-chain. A car is only a liability in these parts. (I walk two miles every day, over barbed wire, broken glass and pine cones!) That said, if you're looking for a free parking space without any hourly restrictions, here is the INDY's handy guide.

Caveat: Limited while supplies last, which might not be long once the city sees this.


Downtown Durham’s (not-so secret) free parking spaces
Street Distance to downtown Notes
1. 1300 block of West Pettigrew Street It’s less than a mile to walk downtown. Or take the Bull City Connector from stops at Swift Avenue or Campus Drive. Headed to Ninth Street? It’s three-tenths of a mile, max This is in front of the Center for Documentary Studies. During the school year or CDS summer institutes, arrive early (by 8:30 a.m.) for a spot.
2. Blackwell Street south of Morehead Avenue Fourth-tenths of a mile to Main Street: Piece of cake. You walk that far to your car at Southpoint Mall. Cut through the American Tobacco Campus for shade. There is ample parking on both sides of the street, except during Bulls home games, when it’s madness, utter madness.
3. Cobb Street near Orchard Park An easy eighth-tenths of a mile to downtown. No hills. Stash your car by this lovely neighborhood park, and take some time to enjoy the ruins of an old greenhouse on the grounds.
4. South Duke Street near Cobb Depending on how far south you park, this promenade is up to ninth-tenths of a mile. All sidewalk. Also near Orchard Park, few people park this far south, and we don’t know why. It’s an easy stroll to downtown. Bulls fans do it every home game.
5. Jackson Street between Duke and Vickers One-half mile to central downtown, even less to American Tobacco Campus. Once you cross the Duke Street speedway (there’s a light), it’s easy cruising. Just a few slots are available on this strip south of the Durham Police station. That said, if you have expired tags or an outstanding warrant, consider parking elsewhere..



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