Monthly parking rates rise at some downtown lots


Monthly parking rates at crowded city-owned lots will go up by more than the yearly inflation figure on Monday, while charges at most of the other parking facilities in the city’s downtown system will rise by the Consumer Price Index figure.

Last week, city commissioners approved the new rates that parking commissioners adopted earlier. 

Rates at the Area 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a, 7 and 9, and Ionia North lots will increase between $3 and $4 a month, which is slightly above the CPI calculation, because the facilities have a high occupancy rate of at least 90 percent. The charges at those lots will range from $30 to $75 a month, up from $27 to $71.

However, the monthly rate at the Mason Ionia lot will fall from $62 to $44 in an effort to draw more parkers. 

“We are recommending a decrease at the Mason Ionia lot because it’s underutilized,” said Pam Ritsema, managing director of the city’s Enterprise Services, which includes Parking Services.

The monthly charge at the city’s other lot in the Monroe North Business District, Monroe North at the intersection of Monroe Avenue and Trowbridge Street, will stay the same at $44.

Monthly rates will rise by the CPI at seven of the city’s downtown ramps, but remain unchanged at the Government Center and Ottawa Fulton ramps. The inflation figure of 1.47 percent adds $2 a month to last year’s charge at the Cherry Commerce, Gallery on Fulton, Louis Campau, Monroe Center, Pearl Ionia and Weston Commerce ramps. 

Downtown businesses rent most of the monthly spaces.

Surface lots in the neighborhood business districts will go up by $2 a month to $20.

“Most of the rates are in line with the CPI,” said Ritsema.

Commissioners also agreed to raise the hourly cost for parking meters throughout the city by 25 cents, meaning the charge will range from 50 cents to $1.75 per hour depending on a meter’s location. Parking Services has more than 2,000 meters downtown and in the business districts.

Ritsema said the idea behind raising the cost of meters is to send parkers to off-street facilities such as lots and ramps. She also said the fee for an hour’s worth of metered parking had remained unchanged since 1998.

The city and the Downtown Development Authority own a combined 23 lots and ramps in the Central Business District. The Convention and Arena Authority owns the underground ramp at DeVos Place. The new rates at all facilities go into effect July 1, the first day of the city’s new fiscal year. 

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