Can we please not make parking in Chapel Hill worse than it already is?
We have all dreamt of a utopia where costs of living, particularly college costs, go down. In reality however, higher education has time and again proven itself no more able than any other large organization to rein itself in.
We really, really hate the weeknight parking fees that will come to pass this August. One of our Board members came in late to the Board meeting where we were discussing this. When we told them what we were discussing, that relatively senior board member simply yelled the four-syllable profanity starting with M and ending with Rs.
We were bemused to see the Weeknight Parking Working Group frame their nighttime parking fees as a response to “historic equity concerns that have been raised,” almost expecting an audio clip of “We Shall Overcome” to play alongside the FAQ page they offer. We do understand that the Advisory Committee on Transportation & Parking is responsible for partially funding what is a great feature of our community, the Chapel Hill Transit and P2P systems. We also will state that ACT&P is also raising or has raised fees on every other revenue source it can get its hands on. Yet apparently this was not enough to feed the beast.
The new weeknight parking passes available starting in August come in two versions. The first is for employees, and costs from $234 to $402 depending on pay rate. It should be understood who will be affected here. Staff and students who already purchased a daytime parking pass will already have weeknight parking access under the daytime pass. While the vast majority of staff work in daytime hours and will be unaffected, the Board does worry about nighttime service employees such as ITS, security and custodial staff. This pass cost is a real bite out of wages, and many of the staff categories mentioned do not pay particularly well.