The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 30th

Parking ?nes rake in $220K for Chapel Hill

Most people familiar with Chapel Hill parking difficulties wouldn’t be surprised to hear the town brings in almost a quarter of a million dollars every year in parking fines alone.

Brenda Jones, the town’s parking superintendent, said the Chapel Hill collected $221,000 in fines and another $30,000 in late fees last year.

Price of parking

$221,000: collected by Chapel Hill in parking fines last year
$30,000: collected by Chapel Hill in late fees last year
$100,000: Chapel Hill’s estimated 2014 parking services budget deficit

Jones said a majority of these tickets are written to vehicles parked on East and West Franklin Street.

Nathan Babcock, who graduated from UNC in 2001, received a parking ticket in July while visiting the University.

Babcock said he was parked outside of Sutton’s Drug Store when he received his ticket.

“It had been a while since I had been in Chapel Hill,” he said. “I forgot there was a meter on Saturdays.”

But thanks to the Chapel Hill Parking Division’s courtesy ticket program, a person’s first ticket on a street meter will be waived.

Even though the town collected more than $250,000 in parking fees and fines, it’s still not enough to cover its growing parking costs.

In its fiscal year 2014, the town estimated an almost $100,000 budget deficit in its parking services division

The town’s parking fund has been running a deficit since fiscal year 2011 after it lost a parking lot during the construction of the mixed-use development 140 West. The division’s other operating costs have increased while its revenues have largely been flat.

For many students, their parking woes stem from limited on-campus parking.

Ashley Webster , a UNC junior, has received multiple tickets during her time in Chapel Hill.

She has received two tickets on Stadium Drive, one of which was when she was visiting a friend last summer. Webster said some of her tickets were written when her car was illegally parked for only a few minutes.

“When I lived in Parker dorm, I’d park in front and run up to my room and grab something,” she said. “When I came back I’d have a ticket.”

Webster said she would prefer if there was more parking available to students.

Jones said while the town doesn’t manage on-campus parking, there are plans for a new parking deck coming to University Square.

As for the rest of Chapel Hill, Jones said there is a 16-space lot on Rosemary Street that rarely fills up and the meters in the town are usually not occupied. She said parking problems cannot always be attributed to a lack of space.

“I don’t know that the problem is that we don’t have enough parking,” Jones said. “It may just be that it’s not advertised well enough.”

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for March 7, 2022

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive