The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 31st

Chapel Hill businesses have parking to spare

Joseph Polcaro needs freshmen.

As his taxes keep rising, Polcaro has become more dependent on the revenue from his parking spaces. Since freshmen cannot buy on-campus parking, they help keep his business — Joseph’s Hairstyling — afloat.

Even as the University adds on-campus parking, local businesses with private lots have seen steady demand for spots, keeping strong a large source of their income.

“I don’t pay too much attention to parking on campus,” Polcaro said, who works on North Columbia Street. And, he said, he doesn’t have to.

But he may have to soon.

UNC Department of Public Safety spokesman Randy Young said there will likely be a shift in years to come as campus construction continues.

As new buildings are completed, they will be filled with more students and employees who will demand parking spaces.

In the 2010-2011 school year, the University distributed more than 14,000 parking permits, and with growing student and employee populations, this number is expected to increase.

“The trend has been to construct facilities on campus for multiple purposes, like the Rams facilities we currently have,” Young said. “We’re constantly researching various areas on campus for potential space for parking.”

Town Parking Superintendent Brenda Jones oversees several off-campus parking sites and said she has no problem filling the $85-a-month parking spaces she manages. Increased on-campus parking has not lowered demand, Jones said.

She said Wallace Parking Deck on Rosemary Street sold 65 permitted spaces this year, keeping 244 available for hourly parking.

She said customers have told her University rates for on-campus parking were unreasonable at times.

On-campus parking for students ranges from $421 to $553 a year, according to the public safety department’s parking ordinance. Students can buy spots for less later on, at a pro-rated price.

Jones said several people have told her that on-campus construction has actually made her spaces more attractive.

“Just because of the construction on campus, some people just don’t want to deal with it,” she said.

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