The city wants to know what you think about trying to find parking in downtown Durham. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan dvaughan@heraldsun.com
The city wants to know what you think about trying to find parking in downtown Durham. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan dvaughan@heraldsun.com

Durham County

Love downtown Durham? Hate downtown parking? The city wants to know.

By Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

dvaughan@heraldsun.com

December 01, 2017 07:00 AM

DURHAM

The city of Durham wants to hear your downtown parking complaints.

Or praise.

Either way, they want some feedback as they look at planning for the next decade.

The 2013 Comprehensive Parking Study called for paid on-street parking at $1.25 per hour. Meters arrived earlier this year, but at $1.50 per hour.

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The study also recommended that paid street parking end at 6 p.m., however paid parking now runs an hour later, until 7 p.m., instead.

If you love or hate the downtown parking meters, you can tell the city through a survey or one of several meetings downtown for the community and stakeholders.

Already this year, the city adjusted downtown parking after negative feedback about 30-minute parking inside the loop instead of two-hour parking inside the loop.

Nicole Thompson, president of Downtowon Durham Inc., said the change helped and thinks the city is responsive to concerns of downtown businesses and residents. DDI has been involved with the city’s plans for parking and will be at the community feeback meetings, too.

“We certainly support the city and the study that they’re doing to look at the next phase of parking, and how to work with them. With the development going on it’s much needed,” Thompson said.

The city’s transportation department is starting this new study to plan downtown Durham parking for the next 10 years. They will also look at strategies for maintaining and managing city-owned parking lots, parking garages, street parking, signage and the days and hours of parking enforcement.

Thompson doesn’t think parking meters going until 7 p.m. weeknights instead of 6 p.m. keeps people away.

“We have such a draw, unique food establishments and businesses downtown,” she said. “An extra hour won’t deter anyone.”

Thompson said downtown’s need for more parking is now, but understands it takes time.

The city is already building a new mixed use parking deck at Mangum Street, Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue. It will have more than 650 parking spaces and be wrapped with commercial and retail space on the Mangum and Morgan streets sides.

Through the survey, you can tell the city what you think about walkability of downtown, where you park and for how long, and what keeps you from walking or parking downtown.

Take the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/Durhamparking.

Find out all about Durham’s city parking options downtown at parkdurham.org.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan

Parking survey

Take the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/Durhamparking.