City officials could move closer to charging for on-street parking in downtown Durham, possibly as soon as November.
On Thursday, the City Council could discuss and possibly schedule a Sept. 6 vote to start charging $1.50 an hour for the about 1,000 on-street public parking spaces in and near downtown, the American Tobacco Campus, the Durham Performing Arts Center, West Village, the Brightleaf District, Durham Central Park, the Durham County Human Services Complex and the North Corporation and Geer Street District.
The plan also calls for increasing the hourly rate in the city’s parking garages and lots from $1 an hour to $1.25. Under the proposed change, event parking would also be increased from $3 to $5.
Public and stakeholder outreach, along with collected duration and turnover data indicates visitors and employees exceeded time limits for on-street parking spaces, a city memorandum on the issue states.
The parking fees would “encourage high turnover of vehicles, resulting in a lively and business friendly downtown environment,” the memo states.
The higher cost for on-street parking is meant to encourage those who plan to stay in the area longer to park in the garage, the memo states.
A 2013 parking study on downtown and the Ninth Street area recommended raised rates and on-street parking charges. The city raised prices that year for some leased spaces downtown, but planned to phase in downtown on-street parking charges as it built up money to pay for the meters.
City officials hope the parking meters will be in place by Nov. 1. The on-street meters will include a combination of single-space parking meters, multi-space pay stations and a pay-by-cell phone payment system.
The new and increased fees would result in a projected revenue increase of nearly $1.16 million this fiscal year and $2.82 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
Parking revenue goes into a dedicated fund, which covers parking-related repairs and the construction of a new downtown parking deck.
Thursday’s work session will be held at 1 p.m. in the Committee Room, on the second floor of City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza in downtown Durham. To view the agenda or listen to a live stream, go here.
Other issues on the agenda that the City Council is scheduled or may choose to discuss include:
▪ Adopting the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Corridor Plan. Adoption would enable planning staff to inform citizens and development applicants of the planned alignment and make recommendations for development planned along the corridor.
▪ Switching to a municipal election process without a primary.
▪ Authorizing a reimbursement agreement with Liberty Warehouse apartments developer worth more than $70,000 to build a sidewalk loop and make other improvements to control stormwater runoff within Durham Central Park.