Why Are Durham Parking Fees Changing?

September 15, 2019


With UNH classes for the 2019-2020 academic year underway,  sleepy summer Durham has transformed into a very busy place.  The blue and pink lines on the map above form a triangle that includes most what we think of as Downtown Durham.  The blue lines show long term parking areas, and the pink lines show short-term spots.   Short term parking is defined as a maximum of two hours and long term is anything that exceeds that.  Since UNH undergraduates, university personnel, visitors, and residents are all seeking parking spots in a relatively small area, managing them is a real challenge.   



When downtown parking issues are discussed, building a new structured parking facility always comes up first.  Since it will likely cost almost $40,000 per spot, and we have very few possible locations, our best option is to efficiently use existing parking spaces.  To help accomplish this, we implemented a pay and display parking system to encourage acceptable parking turnaround times.  A ticket is printed from parking kiosks and displayed on a car's dashboard.  Several parking enforcement personnel patrol and manage the downtown.


While the current system is extremely useful from both an enforcement and data collection point of view,  it is expensive.  Use of a credit card for single hour transactions cost the town more than the hourly rate charged.  Additionally Durham parking rates were lower than UNH's rates and had the potential to increase pressure on town spaces.


This past summer, Durham Police Chief Kurtz met with community stakeholders and discussed how to address costs without harming business parking.  They recommended changing parking fees to mirror UNH and providing longer term parking to accommodate people visiting Durham for business.



                               What Are The New Parking Rates?



The parking spaces along the loop formed by the junctions of Madbury Road, Pettee Brook Lane, and Main Street are designated as short term parking and are limited to two hours total.  Moving counterclockwise around the loop,  the numbers on the map represent spots along the way.  Fees apply Monday through Friday from 8AM until 8PM, and Saturdays 10AM until 4PM.  Sundays and holidays are except from fees.  Durham residents/taxpayers can take advantage of a 2nd free hour by picking up a resident/taxpayer sticker at either the Town Clerk's Office or the Durham Public Work's Office.


1- Post Office Parking:  Limited to 30 minutes.


2- Madbury Road to Pettee Brook Lane: Maximum 2 hours.  First hour free with meter receipt displayed.  2nd hour is $1.00 or with with a sticker.


3-  Sammy's Lot:  Maximum 2 hours. First hour free with meter receipt.  2nd hour is $1.00 or free with a sticker.


4- Pettee Brook Lane between Madbury Road and Main Street:  Maximum of 2 hours.  $1.75 per hour.


5- Pettee Brook North Lot:  Business permit parking or maximum of 2 hours at $1.75 per hour.


6. Main Street northerly side between Pettee Brook and Madbury Road:  Maximum of 2 hours.  First hour free with meter receipt.  2nd hour is $1.00 or free with a sticker.


7.  Jenkins Court: First hour free with meter receipt.  2nd hour is $1.00 or free with a sticker.



 If you are not just stopping Downtown to eat or shop and need more than 2 hours,  you will need a long-term spot.  Moving counterclockwise along the Madbury Road, Garrison Avenue, Main Street loop, the numbers on the map represent spots along the way.  Fee hours are Monday through Friday 8AM-8PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM.  Sundays and holidays are except.


1.  Westerly side of Madbury Road between Pettee Brook Lane and the entrance of Madbury Commons. $1.75 per hour for 4 hours.  $2.00 per hour after 4 hours.


2.  Westerly side of Madbury Road between Madbury commons and Garrison Avenue. 1.75 per hour for the first 4 hours.  $2.00 per hour after 4 hours.  Business permit holders can also use it daily between 6AM until 12:00AM.


3A.  South Side of Garrison Road between Rosemary Lane and Madbury Road. $1.75 per hour for the first four hours and then $2.00 for each additional hour. 


3B. South Side of Garrison Road between Rosemary Lane and Main Street. $1.75 for the first two hours and then $2.25 for each additional hour.


4. The President's House.  Main Street between Pettee Brook and Garrison Avenue. $1.75 per hour for the first two  hours and then $2.25 for each additional hour.


5. Huddleston Hall.  South side of Main Street between Quad Way and Mill Road. $1.75 per hour for the first four hours and $2.00 for each additional hour.


6. Depot Lot Behind the Whittemore.  This one is not on the map.  If you pull off Main Street towards the train station, you will find a commuter lot.  $1.50 per hour until you reach a maximum 24 hour rate of $18.00.  You can leave your car here for a maximum of 5 days. 



That is a lot of information to digest.   Rather than plow on with a discussion of parking data,  I have decided to split this into a three part series.  The next post will discuss what we learned from data collected on short and long term parking, and the final post will discuss business parking.


Don't forget to display your receipt, and If you are a Durham resident/taxpayer, don't forget to put your sticker on your car window.







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