Sep 20, 2021 - News
Denver residents may soon pay double to park downtown
A photo of a parking meter in front of the Denver skyline
A parking meter in downtown Denver. Photo: Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

If Mayor Michael Hancock has his way, Denver residents will pay twice as much as the current rate at city parking meters starting next year.

Driving the news: The mayor's 2022 budget proposal, unveiled last week, aims to raise rates citywide from $1 to $2 per hour, marking Denver’s first increase in two decades.

  • Hancock’s administration hopes to use that extra revenue to generate $9.2 million annually for investments in public transit, bikeways, sidewalk repairs and street safety improvements.

Why it matters: Studies have shown that raising parking fees can reduce the number of cars on the road by discouraging driving and pushing people to take public transit.

  • With fewer drivers on the road and less car exhaust in the air, the fee increase could get the city closer to achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

Details: The proposed uses for the funds include:

  • $1.9 million: To build bike infrastructure and accelerate ongoing construction of bike paths.
  • $1.8 million: To build and repair sidewalks across the city near public facilities, educational buildings and transit stations.
  • $1.8 million: For safety enhancements at high-crash intersections, road crossing safety infrastructure and improving light signals.
  • $3.7 million: For the Denver Moves transit program, including design and construction of a "high-frequency network and transit amenities."
  • $300,000: To hire an additional inspector and project manager to oversee sidewalk repair.

What they’re saying: Raising parking fees is "absurd," Denver resident Christopher Wall told CBS4. "Business here in the city is booming with people coming in. It’s a tourist city, and it’s not fair for residents [to] have to be taxed even more."

  • He added: "Being a resident here, it’s very difficult to find parking, and then I have to park blocks away."

What’s next: The Denver City Council will hold hearings on the mayor’s budget, and the proposal to raise parking fees, through Sept. 30. Members will propose amendments to the mayor in early October and vote on the final document in November.

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