Parking Rates Rise in Annapolis Aug. 20
Higher parking rates for downtown garages in Annapolis are set to take effect next week with an increase in meter rates planned for early October.
The cost to park at downtown garages is going up on Aug. 20.
South Street parking lot will see the biggest increase with the first hour, jumping from $1.50 to $5.00. Noah Hillman Garage will stay at $2 for the first hour, but each additional hour will cost more.
Rate increases for monthly parking will not take place until Sept. 1 when passes will rise about $50 per month at each garage. The exception is at Park Place where the price for monthly passes will stay the same.
City Council approved the rate increases as part of its fiscal 2013 budget, which unanimously passed this June. It also approved an increase in meter rates from $1 to $2 per hour, but that won't take effect until early October.
The new rates are estimated to add $840,000 in additional revenue to Annapolis' coffers, according to the Finance Committee's budget documents.
“The City Council approved the transportation budget to ensure that all operating costs would come from its budget and would not depend on any further general fund subsidies," City Manager Michael Mallinoff said.
Employees at downtown businesses aren't happy about the new pricing.
"I think they should have a discount for people who work here," said City Dock Coffee employee Brittany Traylor. "All my tip money already goes towards parking."
And area businesses are frustrated.
"It seems that the city leadership is not well aware of the merchants' competition," said Sean O'Neill, president of the Annapolis Business Association. "When someone can park for free at the mall or at the Towne Centre or any other shopping venue, the city should be doing what it can to continue to woo shoppers, diners and customers, not making it more difficult."
Upgrades to parking facilities combined with increasing demand for parking downtown led to a real need for higher rates, according to the city.
In March, Annapolis started accepting credit cards at parking garages. New parking machines also are going in around town.
Transportation Director Richard Newell said in a statement that “the increase also reflects the City’s policy of market pricing, which promotes lower parking rates for individuals who park further away from the downtown area."
A PDF included in the photo section of this article includes the list of new prices for daily and monthly garage parking.