Heads Up: Booting To Begin For Reserved Spots Next To Dancing Goats Parking Lot

Well, it was bound to happen.

This is one of the most trafficked parking lots on the northside of the city.  Joe – a business owner with parking in the “Dancing Goats parking lot”, was good enough to give us a heads up…

The parking lot behind Dancing Goats is shared by my business, Fleet Feet, Sprint, as well as the studios downstairs in the back, such as Decatur Yoga and others.
After years of complaints about the lack of parking, yesterday the landlord gave the OK for an outside company to start booting cars that are parked in the spaces reserved for Fleet Feet, Feather Baby and Sprint.
Because nobody wants to see cars booted, especially those of our customers and neighbors. On the other hand, for our small businesses to survive, customers need to have easy access to our stores.
It would be helpful if you would put the word out, so to speak, that drivers need to be considerate choosing a parking spot, even if just for a couple minutes, or they might be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

Decatur Tackles Common “Parking Myths”

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We have long argued and discussed the issue of parking around here.  For evidence of that, feel free to check out my 2010 parking introspective entitled, “Parking: Decatur’s Savior of Businesses or Destroyer of Worlds?

Well, apparently the old parking gripes are rearing their heads again, because the city is looking to debunk some of our most common “parking myths” in the latest Decatur Focus.  Here they are, word for word!

Myth: Decatur doesn’t have enough parking.

What you may not know: ere are more than 2,500 public parking spaces in downtown Decatur. at number includes the privately owned parking decks and lots as well as the 300 metered parking spaces that line the streets. ere is plenty of parking, but not all of it is visible from the street. Due to downtown design standards, parking decks have to be wrapped and hidden by the buildings they serve. Also, developers are required to provide parking to meet residential, retail, and commerical uses in the project. So if a mixed-use apartment complex is built on a piece of land that was a parking lot, the development will include the same amount of public parking spaces in its newly built parking garage.

Myth: Decatur charges a lot for on-street parking because it needs the revenue.

What you may not know: On-street parking is not intended to provide a source of revenue
for the city. Instead, it is a form of parking management that discourages long-term use of the most convenient on-street parking by downtown employees and MARTA patrons. When on- street parking is taken up by business owners or employees regularly, they stand to lose thou- sands of dollars per year in potential revenue. Metered spaces are meant for high turnover and customers planning quick trips. Anyone who intends to stay in downtown Decatur for more than two hours should park in one of the public garages, which o er ample parking.

According to Donald Shoup, author of e High Cost of Free Parking, meters should cost more per hour than parking garages to encourage drivers to park o the street. Currently it costs $2 per hour to park at a meter in downtown Decatur, which is the same or less than most of the downtown parking lots and garages.

Myth: Parking should be free.

What you may not know: ere’s really no such thing as free parking. Even if a driver does not have to pay for his/her parking spot, the cost is passed o elsewhere, whether it’s to the tenant or the customers. According to Parking.org, one on-street parking space is valued at $20,000, an above-ground parking space costs an average of $22,688 to construct, and a subterranean parking space costs between $34,000 and $45,000 to construct. Those numbers don’t even take into account the cost of land and maintenance of the park- ing spaces. While parking is a necessity in cities, free parking is not.

Myth: Parking is hard to find in Decatur.

What you may not know: Parking is abundant in Decatur, but not in the form of highly desirable street parking. You’ll nd most parking spaces in one of the privately owned lots and decks around town. For a map of the downtown parking decks, visit decaturga.com/parking.

Myth: the city’s parking attendants give you a ticket as soon as your meter expires.

What you may not know: Decatur has one full-time and two part-time Parking Assistance Liaison with Merchants and Safety (PALS) that work Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ey monitor all 300 of Decatur’s metered spaces and write parking tickets, but one of their primary responsibil- ities is to serve as ambassadors for Decatur. The turnarounds at North McDonough Street and East Court Square are the most in-demand parking spaces downtown and therefore the most highly monitored spots.

Receiving a ticket for an expired meter can be a frustrating experience. Keep in mind, if you pay to park using the Park Mobile App, you’ll receive a text when your meter is about to expire and have the option of adding more time as long as it is under the two-hour limit.

To learn more about parking in Decatur, visit decaturga.com/parking and download the new parking brochure that lists locations and pricing for all downtown public parking. If you’d like to pick up a hard copy of the brochure, visit the Decatur Visitors Center, 113 Clairemont Ave.

Decatur Library Parking Deck Will Close For Repairs Next Week

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From the DeKalb County Library website

In preparation for repair work, all vehicles parked in the Decatur Library upper and lower deck must exit Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by 9:00 p.m. The entrance to the upper and lower deck will then be blocked.

  • Wednesday, November 11 – Repair work begins while the Library is closed in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.
  • Thursday, November 12 – Repair work on the upper deck will continue. However, the lower deck will be open and you can enter the library from the lower entrance.

Note: These dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions. For more information, please call 404.370.3070, ext. 2008 or 404.508.7190, ext. 2235.

Photo of street that leads to Decatur Library parking deck courtesy of Google Streetview

DeKalb County Parking Deck Will No Longer Be Free in Evenings or on Weekends

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Parking in downtown Decatur is about to get a whole lot tougher for those not willing to open their wallets.

A DeKalb County employee reported in FFAF – and the city has confirmed – that the DeKalb County parking deck at the corner of Trinity Place and Commerce Drive, once free in the evening after 6p and on weekends, will soon be charging for parking.  According to the employee, the county has “hired a vendor to manage parking in the courthouse deck and also for the lot behind the Maloof building.”

They went on to say that they are “Not sure what the price will be, but parking will no longer be free after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends.”

Street parking in Decatur is still free after 6p Monday thru Saturday and all day on Sunday.  But without the release valve of the free DeKalb County deck, one would assume those street spots will be even tougher to snag in the future.

And in case you now have a sudden urge to study up on available parking around Decatur, here’s a helpful map that’s posted on the City’s website

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Decatur Now Ticketing Metered Street Parking on Saturdays

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For many years, Decatur had a sort of gentleman’s agreement with its residents regarding Saturday street parking.

If you had been around long enough, you discovered that the PALS – who write the city’s parking tickets – didn’t work on Saturdays, so while all official Decatur documentation about metered parking said that you needed to pump coins (and more recently credit cards) into the meters on Saturday, those “in the know” could save some cash on Saturdays.

However, with the installation of the upgraded meters last year, we were told that the city was evaluating commencing Saturday parking enforcement.  Well, apparently the evaluation period has ended and the city has decided to deploy the PALS on Saturdays too.

Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne confirmed with us that after 6 months of passing out warnings at expired meters, the city is now actively ticketing on Saturdays.

So be aware Decaturites!  Until 6p on Saturdays you now must to feed the meter or risk a ticket

Parking remains free of charge after 6p Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday.  More info on Decatur parking rules and locations on the city’s website HERE.

Photo courtesy of Marla Tiara

Decatur Proposes Raising Parking Meter Fee to $2 An Hour

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Also on the agenda for tonight’s Decatur City Commission meeting – adopting the always-thrilling “fee schedule” for the coming year.

There actually are a few interesting items that are either being added or increasing this year, not least of which is the fee at metered parking spots increasing from $1.50 an hour to $2.

The City’s Meredith Roark summarized the following revisions to the fee schedule in a letter to City Manager Peggy Merriss…

  • Cemetery – – Increasing the interment, cinerarium and cremains burial fees.

  • Public Safety – – Adding a food truck inspection fee. ($25)

  • Parking – – Increasing the parking meter fee to $2 per hour. (In 14-15, the fee was $1.50 per hour.)

  • Recreation – – Adjusting facility rental fee dues to increased use of Decatur and Ebster Recreation Centers. – Adjusting camp and class fees for various Active Living and Children & Youth Service offerings.

  • Revenue – – Adding a duplicate FiFa release fee. ($12) – Increasing the fee for insufficient funds when paying by check to $50. (In 14-15, the fee was $35.)

  • Special Events – – Adding a Run/Walk permit fee. ($150 fee plus $250 sanitation bond.)

City Installs Single Space, Credit Card-Friendly Parking Meters

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Noticed this guy along West Ponce yesterday across from Taqueria.

They’re relatively new right?

Or perhaps this is just evidence that I’m oblivious to the world around me.