Seth Hollar: True parking costs

January 4, 2013 

True parking costs

The State Department of Administration’s decision not to renew the Go Pass for its employees is poor policy and upholds the misguided notion that parking is free and everyone drives.

Truth be told, the cost to construct parking in downtown amounts to $20,000 per space. With capital costs and maintenance, the direct cost of parking is at least $150 per space per month. That doesn’t even include the indirect costs parking has on the environment, including deterioration of pedestrian areas, congestion and smog.

In effect, the department is subsidizing employees who drive to the tune of $140 per month per space. Not everyone drives, but unfortunately the nondrivers of the world are forced to pay for parking through trickle down higher costs for everything else with rent, consumer goods and salaries being affected as well.

As a suggestion for the downtown garage, the department would do well to increase the parking fee to employees, make all spaces unreserved and open up the garage to the public and rent spaces at market rate. That way, the department can most efficiently use the spaces available and provide the income to further cover the Go Pass.

Seth Hollar, Raleigh

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