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Parking meter rates in Dallas could rise; the city says this is an attempt to increase the number of seats

Parking meter rates in areas like Deep Ellum and downtown could soon be as low as $1, up from 5 cents in some areas if Dallas transit officials get their way. proposed new city rule changes and additional parking rules.

This is what they want to do to free up on-street parking spaces in high-traffic areas and increase city revenues.

In addition, loading areas will be more clearly marked, and there will be clearer signs informing motorists where parking is prohibited or where payment is required.

Transportation director Gus Hancarly told council members on Wednesday that the city’s current lack of regulations governing street curbs encourages illegal parking, causes valet parking to monopolize available spaces for hours, and creates “well below market rates” for licenses to parking and residential parking permit fees. He also said the city has problems with parking enforcement and most parking meters are “outdated”.

“Current conditions make it difficult to find on-street parking in popular areas, which could discourage people from visiting those areas for short trips,” Hancarli said.

Proposals to improve street parking and curb management are still being developed, he said, and feedback will be sought from the public, as well as representatives from DART, Downtown Dallas Inc., the Deep Ellum Foundation, and other groups. A list of recommendations for city code amendments and other rule changes could be voted on by the City Council in the summer.

Hancarly said he doesn’t yet have an estimate for the cost of all the changes.

There are currently no set rules or criteria for the installation of parking meters, rate adjustments, or time limits in the city. This means that rates in Dallas can change from quarter to quarter.

The city said last year that parking meter rates have not been updated for 10 to 20 years and have ranged from 5 cents to $1.50.

Katherine Rush, chief planner for the city’s Department of Transportation, said the rate range could be expanded from $1 to $6 to make Dallas more in line with other major cities, adding block-specific rates and more proactive measures to keep people from staying. beyond their time limit.

Rates can go up or down from 25 cents to 50 cents every six months, she said, depending on the need.

“If the price is too high and many curbside spaces remain vacant, nearby stores lose customers, employees lose their jobs, and the city loses tax revenue,” Rush said. “If the price is too low and there are no available seats, people will not be willing to visit the area, and drivers traveling for the seat waste time, fuel, congestion and air pollution.”

Rules could be changed to allow meter revenue in some high-traffic areas to go towards landscaping, such as sidewalk repairs, tree planting and street maintenance, she said.

“It has been observed in other cities that few businesses will support charging for on-street parking,” Rush said. “But if a portion of the meter revenue goes to specific additional utilities in those metered areas, residents will be more inclined to support that pricing policy.”

Council member Jesse Moreno, whose district includes Deep Ellum, said he was encouraged by the changes and suggested a review of parking lots outside city buildings that remain empty for hours after closing.

He said he understands drivers’ dissatisfaction with how long it can take to find parking in busy areas, but he doesn’t see it as a problem.

“I really think we should recognize that when you have a good product, when you have a good business, people will find you and people will find a parking spot,” he said.

Council member Kara Mendelsohn, representing Far North Dallas, disagreed. She pointed to neighboring towns such as Plano, Frisco, Richardson and Addison, where there are many free and affordable parking options. She said that affordable parking was vital to the city’s growth.

“The truth is that when I go out to dinner with friends, very often they don’t want to go to this place because of the parking lot,” she said.

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