The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday March 25th

Chapel Hill works to add more parking

Parking grumbles could be reduced for Chapel Hill residents and visitors next fall as the town works to boost its parking availability by nearly 10 percent.

After recently acquiring property on South Graham Street and leasing parking spaces at the Courtyard at 431 W. Franklin St., the town will add about 80 new parking spaces, set to become available this fall.

By the numbers

Approximate number of parking spaces to be added by the fall

Spaces gained from South Graham Street and Courtyard

Spaces added by town after the closing of Parking Lot 5

Town Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett said these areas presented the biggest parking shortage. The acquisition and renovation of the Graham Street location carries a $440,000 price tag for the town.

“In 2008, a parking study looked at demand block by block,” he said. “The Graham Street area was targeted specifically as parking deficient.”

These new parking opportunities are made in addition to 109 spaces the town added downtown due to the construction of the 140 West Franklin development and closure of town-owned Parking Lot 5.

Lot 5, which contained a mix of 103 leased and hourly spots, permanently closed in January when construction on the mixed-use complex began.

Parking Superintendent Brenda Jones said the price for the hourly spaces at the recently acquired locations is still under discussion.

“We are still negotiating the price,” she said. “But I’m sure they should be in line with what we currently charge at around a dollar an hour.”

The town has yet to determine how much revenue it expects to gain from these new spaces.

“You run all the estimates, but you can’t be one hundred percent sure,” she said.

Junior Lauren Pettit, who lives off campus and said she only drives if she is late for class, said she is disappointed with current available parking.

“There are only spots open at awkward times of the day,” she said. “And there is no free parking at all.”

Bassett said additions to downtown parking have been stalled for years due to numerous reasons, including encouraging citizens to use more transit services and limited availability of land.

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