October Poll – Parking Meters In Downtown

The September poll has now come to a close and Tobacco Road Sports Cafe is the clear favorite amongst readers. Thank you for voting and make sure to go to your favorite place this Friday for the Carolina Hurricanes’ season opening game.

October begins today so a new poll is up for readers to weigh in on. Parking meters will soon be installed throughout some downtown streets. I’m curious to hear your opinions on how it may or may not change the way you visit downtown. The soon to come media frenzy on this topic is introduced with this article from the N&O. According to the article, parking fees will begin to be enforced in December.

This topic was discussed back in January of this year and now that the meters are just around the corner, I will bring up more discussions on this throughout the next two months. Some ideas I’m thinking about:

  • Downtown Raleigh’s overbuilt and inefficient use of its parking decks.
  • Charging for prime parking spots on the street encourages turnover and increases business.
  • Parking meter revenue should go directly into paying back the system and maintaining/improving downtown sidewalks, not downtown roads.

10 Comments

  1. I say go for it. Personally, I would be in favor of removing on-street parking altogether for a more pedestrian friendly environment but I don’t see that happening.

  2. I think that if the parking meter rates are set properly, it could be both a good source of revenue for downtown maintenance and a sufficient enticement to use the various parking decks around downtown. However, if they set the meter rates to some arbitrarily low amount to keep people from whining and moaning, then it will be a mostly wasted effort.

  3. I agree with Leo! The parking meter money should ONLY go to sidewalk improvements. Our downtown sidewalks are embarrassing and narrow!!! It’s pathetic at Raleigh Times (example), the sidewalk is so narrow, you have to walk through people eating at tables (what a joke). I travel all over the country, what is wrong with this “so called” top of the list/leading edge Capital City (downtown is an awful walkable area – what is city council, DRA, Convention Commitee or downtown leaders doing about this mess? – incomplete buildings, too many empty lots, wasting land on low rise – this new comprehensive plan needs to take effect yesterday.

    Does anyone know if there are plans to repave ALL the roads downtown. They have lost my business until this happens, the roads in our downtown are worst than Midwest or Northeast cities (by far).

  4. @Terry
    No, they aren’t. Salisbury was recently repaved near the courthouse, Fayetteville – forget about it. The only street that really needs work is S. Wilmington.

    What I like about the parking meters is that they will hopefully push all-day parkers into the decks and free up spaces for people stopping in for a bite or an otherwise quick stop.

  5. I really hope these meters free up street parking. I always want to stop at Crema around 4pm but I can never just pull up to run in for a quick coffee. I don’t want to go to the deck because I’ll only be in the coffee shop for like 5 mins, but I wouldn’t mind paying a meter for the convenience right there.

  6. I voted ride transit/bike/walk, since I live downtown and walk everywhere, so maybe I have no dog in this fight (And no, I don’t endorse dog-fighting. Only cock-fighting)…

    BUT, I agree with Lew on this one. If we have the ugly concrete tombs for parking garages, perhaps we should use a little force to get downtown workers to use them, if they aren’t going to ride transit/bike/walk.

  7. The sidewalk repair idea is brilliant! I agree. It’s smart to install the meters to keep downtown employees from taking up spaces. However, I wish there was a concession for those who live in downtown apartments that do not provide parking.

  8. As someone who works about 7 blocks east of downtown, I will definitely go downtown less. Right now, I go once every 1-2 weeks, either for lunch or dinner. I’m just not willing to pay essentially what amounts to a surcharge to eat downtown when I could just as easily go the other direction and eat somewhere more convenient to my home without paying anything to park. It’s just economics — parking would add $1-2 to my dinner/lunch bill. That may not seem like a lot, but it would add up to a lunch bill fairly quickly. Also, who wants to have to think about carrying around change all the time or having to overpay in order to be able to use a credit card AND have to search out the pay stations which might be in the opposite direction of where you want to go? While it really isn’t a HUGE hassle in terms of money or convenience, it is just enough to make me reconsider where I take my business.

  9. Oh, and the other thing I forgot to mention is that Raleigh’s current parking policies downtown have allowed me to make an unexpected stop into an interesting shop that I hadn’t planned on visiting, because I knew I had a 1 or 2 hour window. Or, at least I’ve never had to rush out of a restaurant because my “time was up”. Now, unless you overpay to “be safe”, you have to know ahead of time how much time you’ll be using. No more quick jumps into a shop you didn’t know existed — it’s time to get back or get a ticket!

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