May 9, 2022 - News

Denver's higher parking fees and fines is not deterring drivers

Illustration of a parking lot with lines painted with gold, and dollar signs in each one.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Denver's doubly high parking meter prices aren't deterring people from driving and parking downtown.

By the numbers: Parking meter revenue this year through March more than doubled to $3.8 million compared to the first quarter of 2021, city transportation department spokesperson Nancy Kuhn tells Axios Denver.

  • Half the revenue will be funneled toward transit, sidewalks, bikeways and street safety improvements, while the rest will flow into the city's general fund.

Flashback: For the first time in two decades, Denver raised its parking meter rates this year from $1 to $2 an hour.

  • City leaders said the fee increase could get Denver closer to achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 with fewer drivers on the road and less car exhaust in the air.

Of note: Parking violation fines also increased this year to more closely align Denver with its peer cities and reduce vehicle congestion.

The bottom line: Neither policy appears to have reduced traffic on Denver's roadways.

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