Park That Thought

Changes coming to Downtown Raleigh parking
Changes coming to Downtown Raleigh parking

Changes are likely coming to Raleigh’s downtown parking rules. City staffers, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and community stakeholders, have been looking at different strategies to incentivize drivers to park in city-owned decks rather than in on-street parking spaces. Especially, city parking manager Matthew Currier explains, when drivers are planning to park in metered spaces for longer stretches of time. This encourages more turnover of on-street spaces and, hopefully, more people visiting on-street businesses over the course of each day. (On-street parking changes will also apply to areas of Hillsborough Street and Glenwood South). “Some of the local municipalities, Chapel Hill and Durham, have a similar approach, as well as some of the larger cities in North Carolina and beyond,” says Currier. “These are the standard best practices for pricing and incentives to switch where people are parking or incentivize people to park in different spaces.” If approved, the parking changes will go into effect this fall, with Phase 2 of the changes slated to take effect in the fall of 2020. The Council will likely vote to adopt the new parking rules with its new fiscal year budget this month, so if you have comments or concerns, now’s the time to share them with your elected officials. 

$5 After 5

There are no proposed changes to the $5 flat fee to park in city decks after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Parking Lots & Evening Rates

The city owns a handful of surface parking lots; rates could increase from $45-$68 a month to $60-$80 a month. The $20 per month fee for city employees who work downtown in the evenings will not change. 

On-Street Rates & Meter Hours

On-street parking rates could increase from $1.00-$1.25 per hour to $1.25-$1.50 per hour this fall, and potentially to $1.50-$2.00 per hour next year (Phase 2). Parking rates will apply Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. under the new proposed rules, instead of from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We’re trying to create some price parity and saying, ‘Hey, if you’re going to be downtown for a few hours, go and park in one of the decks, it’s the same price or similar to what it costs on the street,’” says Currier. “You don’t have to worry about any level of enforcement or getting a ticket, and that allows [the city] to free up or turn over some of those spaces on the street more often, so more folks get an opportunity to visit businesses downtown.” In Phase 2, the city will also consider charging for parking on Saturday.

Lost Ticket Rates

Lost ticket rates could increase from $12 to $25 to discourage people from parking in a deck for days and claiming they lost their ticket when they come back to leave with their car. “A $25 fee is typical and we hope it will discourage that type of behavior, where folks have had multiple days of free parking for a one-day fee,” says Currier.

Monthly Accounts in City Decks

The city could increase its $110 and $115 fees for unreserved parking—where you pay the fee monthly and park anywhere in a city deck—to $125 per month to achieve price parity with privately owned decks that offer public parking. Reserved spaces—where you pay a monthly fee for a designated space—could increase from $160-$173 per month to $190 per month.

Special Events 

The special event rate could shift from $7 to a $10 flat fee. This will help move traffic into parking decks more efficiently, as staffers likely won’t have to make as much dollar bill change. 

Off-Street Hourly & Off-Street Daily Max

Currently, drivers pay $2 per hour to park in city decks with a $12 daily maximum. Under the new rules, drivers would pay $1.50 an hour to park for the first four hours, then $2 an hour until they hit the daily maximum, proposed to increase to $14.

Jane Porter

Jane is the editor of Raleigh Magazine. Questions, comments, criticisms/complaints? Email her at jane@raleighmag.com
Jane Porter

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Jane is the editor of Raleigh Magazine. Questions, comments, criticisms/complaints? Email her at jane@raleighmag.com