Birmingham Raises Parking Rates

Birmingham Raises Parking RatesJudy_Palmer30years

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 24, 2014)

The cost of parking in Downtown Birmingham’s structures will go up beginning Aug. 1 after a vote by the City Commission on Monday to increase the cost of permits. The rates will also go up from there on July 1, gallowaycollens12015.

“[Parking rates] have not increased in any significance in ten years,” said Paul O’Meara, city engineer. O’Meara is part of the Advisory Parking Committee (APC) that is looking at a parking study and coming up with recommendations for how to address – and fund – the need to expand the amount of parking available.

Based on the APC recommendations, effective Aug. 1 the monthly permit rates will be:

Pierce St. Structure $60

Park St. Structure $50

Peabody St. Structure $55

N. Old Woodward Ave. Structure $50

Chester St. Structure $40comedysportz ad

Lot 6 Regular Permit $55

Lot 6 Economy Permit $35

South Side Permit $40

O’Meara said the increased revenue will go into an account to cover maintenance and expansion expenses.

Commissionersseed14_chad_matt agreed on the need to expand the parking, but some felt the new rates did not go far enough.

“This is $3 a day,” said Commissioner Gordon Rinschler. “Starbucks raised the price of their coffee more than that. If someone is going to make a business decision over $2.50 a day, then I just don’t get it.”

Commissioner Mark Nikita agreed. “I go to Detroit,” he said There is no place you can pay less than $15 a day to park… I think we have room to grow this.”

Commissioner Rachaeline Hoff voted in favor of the increase, but still raised New Harvest Homes NHHconcerns. “I definitely think that we need the money for additional parking,” she said. “But it’s a delicate balance… For many of the people that are working it makes a difference. I don’t want businesses to leave or employees to find other jobs… I think people want more parking, but I don’t think they want to pay.”

Resident Mary Ann Haney raised concerns about workers and seniors. “There are people here making $7 an hour working retail,” she said.

No one from the business community was there to speak on the rate increase. When asked if businesses had been notified, O’Meara told the commission “I’ve not broadcast this decisionsidebar012stairs to the Downtown businesses.”

A memo from June 13 from O’Meara states “With respect to rate increases, the APC requested that the Principal Shopping District (PSD) be brought into the discussion. The PSD asked the Maintenance Subcommittee to discuss the matter in greater detail, which it did. In early May, the PSD confirmed that it could not officially endorse a rate increase. However, it understood the reasoning for it, and indicated that the Board would not actively oppose it.”

Commissioner Tom McDaniel agreed with leaving the PSD [Principle Shopping District] out of the most recent discussion. “In a sense asking the PSD [about raising rates] is putting the fox in the hen house a little bit,” McDaniel said. He also said he would have preferred to see the rate higher.

More information can be found in the Commission agenda and meetings portion of the Birmingham website at http://www.bhamgov.org/. You can also download the agenda packet from Monday’s meeting at http://oaklandcounty115.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/062314.pdf.

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