Raleigh Changing Downtown Parking Fees

The city plans to tinker with its parking rates this year, and for the most part that means people will pay more to park on the street and in the city’s downtown lots and decks.

On-street parking fees and what people pay to park for special events and by the month would all go up under the city’s plan, which will be folded into the budget that goes before the City Council this month.

But people who park four hours or less in a city lot or deck downtown would actually pay less per hour than before. The goal, says Matthew Currier, the city’s parking manager, is to encourage people who are spending a few hours downtown to choose off-street parking, to free up spaces on the street.

“Parking is the first thing and the last thing that people come and do, and to me it’s the thing I don’t want them to worry about,” Currier said. “Creating turnover and having available spots helps create that perception.”

People now pay $1 to $1.25 an hour to park on the street downtown, including parts of Glenwood South, and along Hillsborough Street near N.C. State University. Those rates would go up 25 cents this fall and another 25 to 50 cents in the fall of 2020, for a top rate of $2 an hour.

And while the city now charges for on-street parking only up to 5 p.m. on weekdays, it would extend those hours to 8 p.m., to encourage turnover during the evenings. The city may also consider charging for on-street parking on Saturdays beginning in 2020.

Meanwhile, the cost to park in city lots and decks would fall from $2 an hour to $1.50 an hour for the first four hours. It would remain $2 an hour for each hour over four, to a maximum of $14 a day, up from the current daily max of $12.

Reducing off-street parking rates compared with on-street spaces makes sense, said Bill King, president and CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, which promotes businesses and development downtown.

“Your on-street spaces are your more valuable spaces, because they’re closer to businesses,” King said. “Those should be priced above your off-street, transient spaces.”

Also under the city plan, the cost to park for a special event would rise from a flat rate of $7 to $10. Currier said the goal is to simplify the payment process, so the attendant taking cash doesn’t have to handle a lot of one dollar bills. ...
— Richard Stradling - N&O
Brent Woodcox