Ann Arbor Area Community News
So much so, in fact, that the Ann Arbor News seems to have found it necessary to run the story twice, at least on their website, both yesterday and today: Parking structure rates will decrease.
The City and DDA have made a number of changes recently and are considering more to address perceived misuses of the downtown parking system. The City recently changed the cost of an expired-meter ticket paid within 24 hours from $5 to $10, fixing a loophole where tickets were cheaper than structured parking. On Wednesday, the DDA resolved to adjust hourly rates at meters and structures – since meters are seen as more desirable parking, especially by customers of downtown businesses looking for easy access, the DDA wanted to encourage long-term parkers to use off-street facilities, freeing up meters for higher turnover use. Assuming Council doesn’t reject the change, meter rates will go up to $1 / hour and structure rates down to $0.80 / hour. (Some DDA members are unhappy with this; the change is revenue-neutral from the current system, while the DDA’s rent of the meters from the city went from around $100k last year to $2m this year.)
The next issue the DDA is considering is the question of evening parking. The metered parking system was set up when downtown was purely retail and office, and doesn’t work well with Main Street’s current evening-oriented entertainment uses. Free metered parking after 6pm means an incentive for evening employees to park on the street for 8 hours at a time, pushing other parkers into the structures or further from their destinations (and annoying business owners). The DDA will be looking at extending parking meter enforcement later into the evening, probably in the next six months, but has already heard some complaints about this idea from people who feel evening street parking is meant to be free.
Since every thread on this site ends up talking about parking or transportation at some point, here’s an attempt to capture some of that in a dedicated thread. Discuss.
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