Could paid parking fees in Alpena mirror other cities? | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz A public parking sign posted in downtown Alpena on Wednesday. The Alpena Downtown Development Authority is considering a plan that could lead to paid parking in the city center. If parking meters were installed, the proceeds would be used to cover the cost of a parking garage.

ALPENA – How much do residents and visitors to the city center of Alpena have to pay for parking if the municipal council of Alpena and the Alpena city center development authority set up paid parking spaces in areas of the city center?

A look at parking fees in other cities in northern Michigan could provide clues as to what local decision makers are thinking.

Traverse City and Petoskey have paid parking that costs users $ 1.50 per hour and $ 1 per hour, respectively.

Parking in downtown Traverse City is free after 6:00 PM

To the north, Sault Ste. Marie charges 50 cents an hour for up to six hours for roadside parking for local businesses or 25 cents an hour for 10 hour parking in areas on the edge of main shopping and dining areas.

Petoskey also offers 10 hours of parking for 25 cents an hour.

Both Traverse City and Petoskey have a three hour parking limit for their most requested parking spaces.

So far, the city and the DDA have openly discussed what tariffs might be in Alpena, but they could be included in a paid parking plan that the DDA is working on at the direction of the council.

It has not yet been determined when the DDA will forward the plan to the city.

According to Jean Derenzy, CEO of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, paid parking has been a part of everyday life for more than 20 years. She said she occasionally received complaints about the matter, but added that paid parking ensures vehicles enter and exit the parking lot in a timely manner for other customers to use.

Derenzy said paid parking is a key factor for growth and development in city centers in many cities. She said that as the city center grows, so does the demand for quality parking for customers and employees who work in the local area. She said communities that have parking problems are likely to attract more businesses and people.

“If you want a business district, you need to have near-paid parking for the shops,” she said. “Having a parking problem means you grow and thrive.”

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