Parking structure monthly pass prices increase
By Grace Lovins
The monthly parking prices for all five of Birmingham’s parking garages will increase at the beginning of the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2023, as city commissioners unanimously approved the increase during their meeting on Monday, May 8.
Rate increases were brought to the commission’s attention at the budget hearing on Saturday, April 29, since the parking department had budgeted for the hike. Birmingham last increased the parking garage rates in April of 2017, with a $15 increase for monthly passes at the Chester Street garage and a $20 increase at the other four. Price increases will only be seen for monthly parking passes. The daily rate will remain unchanged.
Monthly rates will increase by $20 at the Chester, Peabody, Park and North Old Woodward garages, and increase by $30 at the Pierce Street garage effective July 1. This brings the price for monthly passes from $50 to $70 at Chester Street, $70 to $90 at Park, Peabody and North Old Woodward, and $70 to $100 at Pierce.
According to Aaron Ford, parking systems manager, the advisory parking committee recommended a larger increase at the Pierce Street deck given its centralized location in the city and the fact that it is the busiest parking deck. The increase is also meant to help offset the cost of several capital improvement projects planned for the garages, Ford said.
Projects are planned to improve efficiency with new parking equipment and several other long-term capital repair projects will continue. Ford noted these projects include the installation of LED lights, wayfinding signs and making the garages more compatible for future electric vehicle charging.
For comparison, Ford said Detroit’s average monthly parking rate is $182, and Ann Arbor’s rate is $200, which Ford said has increased each year by $5 for the last few years. Mayor Therese Longe and commissioner Brad Host both said the increase was justifiable, with Host noting that the price is reasonable even with the increase.
Suggestions were made by city manager Tom Markus and commissioner Pierre Boutros to reevaluate the parking rates annually. Markus stated that raising the prices by increments if needed is a better option than raising the price by a larger sum after several years.