For the first time in two years most parking rates in Ann Arbor could be going up in January. Downtown Development Authority board members say the increase is needed but some downtown business owners want more services in return.
DDA Board Member Roger Hewitt counters that the organization spends about $2.5 million maintaining the parking system annually. This cost is only expected to increase as about 1,000 spaces have been added in the last few years. "Clearly nobody likes to see the price of anything go up. The rate increases are, as we pointed out in the past, are pretty much inflationary to cover increased costs of maintenance of the structures and labor expenses," Hewitt says.
Hewitt says some concerns have been raised, but nothing like the outcry when the DDA proposed extending parking meter hours into the evening.
DDA Board Member Al McWilliams wants the organization to investigate using technology to help people find where spots are available on their phone. He thinks this might be a low cost way to meet at least one of the concerns raised about parking in the city.
Under the plan, parking meters and surface lots would cost an additional ten cents per hour. Hourly rates in parking structures don't change, but permit parking rates will increase.
The DDA board is expected to vote on the proposed rate hike next month.
The proposed rate hikes include:
- On street meters go from $1.50/hour to $1.60/hour
- First three hours at attended lots go from $1.40/hour to $1.50/hour
- Attended lots after three hours go from $1.60/hour to $1.70/hour
- Structure permits go from $145/month to $155/month
- Campus area permits go from $155/month to $165/month
- Premium permits go from $180/month to $205/month
- Art Fair goes from $12/entry to $15/entry