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Parking study calls for raising rates

The City Council is scheduled Tuesday to review a consultant’s study that says the city “has ample parking” and should raise parking rates.

The study, from Florida-based WGI, says the city should raise on-street parking rates.

It doesn’t offer a specific figure for increasing the basic meter rate, now at $2 an hour.

But it suggests doubling the discounted 12-hour zone rate from 50-cents an hour to $1 to reduce the need for the parking system to handle coins.

It also suggests raising the maximum daily rate in city parking garages to a consistent $2 per hour after the first hour, or increasing the hourly rate in the last two rate bands from 50 cents to 75 cents per hour.

It also suggests raising the monthly rate in the parking garages and considering a dynamic pricing program for on-street parking downtown that would raise rates after a time threshold to encourage turnover.

It bases the proposed rate increases largely on rates charged by what it considers peer communities to Evanston.

The study also generally recommends against adopting an on-street employee permit parking program in residential permit zones.

And it suggests increasing parking penalties and fines to better reflect lost revenue and enforcement costs.

It also suggests conducting a parking occupancy and demand study to evaluate Evanston’s transit-oriented development zoning policies.

And it claims that “Evanston does not have a gameday parking problem” around Northwestern’s sports facilities, but needs to address traffic congestion and circulation issues there.

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