Street parking in Dallas could get more expensive this summer

Soon, parking on some Dallas streets may cost more.

A new on-street parking and curb management proposal being considered by the City Council aims to free up on-street parking space in popular areas and increase city revenue.

At a briefing on Wednesday, chief transport planner Katherine Rush said the goal is to balance the need for loading work while also providing enough space for on-street parking.

“The only thing worse than paying for parking is no parking at all,” Rush said. “If the curb is free or the price is too low in popular areas, it is often crowded and newcomers to the area have nowhere to park, which can discourage them from going to the area at all.”

She noted that time-limited parking meters are tools at the disposal of the city to encourage people not to stay in the parking lot too long in front of businesses and therefore prevent someone else from using the space.

If the proposal goes through, Rush said popular areas like downtown and Deep Ellum could soon see a $1 minimum parking fee — up from 5 cents in some areas.

But the plan is to raise rates gradually, changing only 25 to 50 cents over six months.

Rush said it was important to strike a balance when raising prices.

“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,” she said.

She added that lower rates lead to fewer vacancies.

“If the price is too low and there are no available places, people will refuse to visit,” Rush said. And, she added, “drivers traveling [looking] for space waste of time, fuel, traffic congestion and air pollution.”

Councilman Jesse Moreno, who represents District 2 including Deep Ellum, disagreed with this assessment.

“When you have a good business, people will find you and people will find a place to park,” he said.

“I don’t have the impression that we don’t have suitable parking,” he added.

After deducting expenses needed to install or upgrade parking meters, Rush said 60% of the remaining proceeds will be reinvested in the same high-traffic locations where they are spent.

The remaining 40% will go to citywide services such as sidewalk repairs, tree planting and street maintenance.

Rush says that in the next phase of the initiative, the city will conduct a survey of downtown businesses to get feedback on the proposal.

The City Council will vote to approve the proposal this summer.

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