Government and Travel & Tourism

Grand Rapids considers 25-cent parking meter increase

June 17, 2013
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Parking Commission green lights free holiday parking
Downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via fb.com

The Grand Rapids Parking Commission passed a 25-cent parking meter increase last week, which will now go to the City Commission for approval on Tuesday.

On-street meter rates currently run between 50 cents per hour to $1.50 per hour, depending on the downtown location.

If approved, rates would increase to between 75 cents per hour and $1.75 per hour.

If city commissioners pass the increase, it will be the first time in 15 years that parking meter rates will have increased.

The vote to increase on-street parking rates followed an ongoing discussion the Parking Commission has been having about on-street and off-street parking rates, which includes two main theories of how parking rates should be determined.

  • Meter rates should be greater than off-street rates to encourage use of parking ramps and discourage congestion due to searching for an on-street space
  • Meter rates should be set to achieve an 85 percent occupancy of space on any given block

The current off-street ramp rate is $2 per hour, and it was reported that on-street meters have not reached 85 percent occupancy, with the exception of during the lunch hour and after 4 p.m.

The Parking Commission decided to hold off on any other votes concerning parking rates until a full study is completed that will include a review of on-street meter technology, the relationship between off-street and on-street visitor rates and the completion of a plan encompassing all of downtown.

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