Paid or Free Parking? Which one?

BrianR's picture
It's the age old debate. At least around these parts. Which Town parking policy is the best idea? Paid parking in Chapel Hill or free parking in Carrboro? Which policy is working better?

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BrianR's picture

My Thoughts

Isn't one idea, behind charging for parking, to disincentivize driving which contributes to global climate change? Another idea is incentivize good health by encouraging more walking & biking. Then there is the idea that if we have less parking more people may consider living closer to where their needs are. If this is true then it's odd that Carrboro has chosen not to charge for parking.

I wonder if there are other problems. Like until recently the Town of Carrboro didn't own the land the majority of their public downtown parking was on. I guess land owners would want a cut of the fees charged. (?)

Also lets not forget that charging for parking makes real money for Towns. Both downtown and at park & rides.

I haven't forgot how important parking is for local businesses. When I ran a small business in Carrboro it was a real struggle. I paid for 17 space guaranteed in my lease. I sure it added to my cost of doing business. Free public parking does subsidize these costs which aren't always apparent.

Note: I saw this conversation started over on Facebook and thought it belonged here too.