The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 3rd

Carrboro Board of Aldermen talk business parking options

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday to request more information about how costs, pricing and enforcement would work if the town were to designate under-utilized town-owned parking spaces for certain Carrboro businesses.

Following Carrboro’s downtown parking summit on shared parking in January , town staff found there is still a need for daytime parking options even if businesses share downtown parking that is currently available, said Annette Stone, the town’s economic and community development director.

“There are opportunities if we work to get employees out of primo parking areas and get customers in,” Stone said.

Employees could soon be parking in a town-owned lot at 105 Laurel Avenue, which is about half a mile away from Carrboro’s downtown. Additional areas have not yet been assessed, Stone said.

Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell expressed concern that employees would bear the financial burden of paid on-street parking, especially if they work part-time or for minimum wage.

“One thing I don’t want to see happen is the employees’ salaries impinged upon because of the costs to their employers,” she said.

Alderman Damon Seils said it’s not unreasonable to expect businesses to account for parking costs in their budgets.

“Keep in mind that businesses that have their own parking already have that cost rolled into their costs as a business,” he said. “Their payroll is affected by that to some extent, too.”

Other towns have adopted similar models, said Alderman Sammy Slade.

“There are best practices on how employers can give employees the cost of parking as a bonus if they bike to work,” he said.

“I live on Pleasant Street , and there’s on-street parking there, and I find it to be perfectly fine. I think it’s a great use of public sp ace.”

The high cost of maintaining the spaces could present a problem, said Mayor Lydia Lavelle.

“I’m worried about the pricing (of the spaces) being high enough to cover our costs and then that being lower than the pricing at the parking deck (at 300 E. Main St.),” she said.

The board also voted to encourage employees who park in the Carrboro Century Center to instead park at Carrboro Town Hall and to encourage Carrboro residents to park there after business hours as well.

“I wonder how much people are aware that there is this much parking here, particularly in the evenings and on weekends,” said Alderman Jacquelyn Gist.

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