When we talk about Durham parking, we can't forget about spots for downtown business owners and their employees. Parking was a major concern in a recent survey by the Durham Businesses Association. An examination of Durham's Business Permit Parking Program is good starting point for a discussion about this concern. Annual business permits can be purchased at the Durham Police Department and allow the permit owner to park in spaces in the green dash lined areas on the downtown map.
Here is a description of the numbered areas on the trusty Strafford Regional Planning map.
1. Cowell Drive. There are 7 spots on the northern side next to St. Thomas More Church.
2. Pettee Brook North Lot. I mentioned this as short term parking, but it can also be used for business permit parking.
3. Pettee Brook South Lot. This lot is exclusively for business permit parking.
4. Easterly side of Madbury Road between the Coast Bus Stop and Garrison Avenue. That area is across the street from Saxby's and extends to the stop sign at the Garrison intersection.
5. Garrison Avenue Extension towards the middle school. Since it is one way, you need to drive on Dennison to access them.
6. Easterly side of Strafford Avenue between Garrison Avenue and the Strafford Avenue Apartments. This area is walking distance from the Paul School of Business.
To judge how the program is working, we need to look at the parking data. Here are the findings from the the week of May 5, 2019.
The data confirms the observations of many business owners and employees that spaces close to Main Street can be tough to find. The Pettee Brook lots are nearly full. Garrison Avenue extension and Stafford Avenue have plenty of available spaces but require some walking. That can be a challenge in the winter.
While the May data does provide a helpful snapshot, quarterly data is needed to develop a more complete picture. The town has also formed a parking working group that includes the town administrator, town planner, economic development director, police, and town councilors. Their goal is to use parking data to help guide short and long term planning and provide possible solutions to the Town Council. Their next meeting is in November.
Please share this parking series with your fellow business owners and customers. If you have any comments or question, feel free to send me an email.