Desman Recommends 1.50/hr Parking Meter Fees (7)

(7th post in a series of posts on parking)

Gadfly will flesh out and fact-check his notes below after looking at the video. 

At the Sept 20 meeting, Tim Tracy of Desman Design made a presentation on the recommendation to raise the parking meter fees to $1.50 that included the following:

  • The Bethlehem Parking Authority must cover its operating expenses, capital improvements, infrastructure, and debt through user fees
  • Capital repair over the next 10 years is estimated at $6 million
  • History shows that the on-street parking meter rate in 2002 was .50 and raised to the current $1.00 in 2012 (importantly, the off-street rate moved to an equivalent $1.00 as well in 2016)
  • Meter rates are a “management tool,” and on-street rates can promote favorable turnover and drive long-term parkers into garages
  • Since on-street and off-street rates are now equal, there is no incentive to use garages
  • Comparison with a dozen or more other cities shows that the Bethlehem on-street rate is “under market”
  • Hence, the recommendation to raise our rates from $1.00 to $1.50
  • Benefits of the increase: increased revenue, more on-street parking available, and yet we would be at market rate
  • A reminder that all BPA expenses are covered by user fees
  • And that any surplus is fed back into the system
  • The timeline: the mayor decides, projected implementation is January 1, and Desman would market and promote the change
  • There is a plan to ease the transition into June, for instance, people using an app will pay the old price into June

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