Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
$1.5 million projected shortfall in Salt Lake parking revenue

Budget » It’s the second shortfall since curb-side parking rate hike in 2012.

First Published Feb 24 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Feb 24 2014 02:37 pm

Where have all the downtown curb-side parkers gone?

For the second year in a row, budget estimates of Salt Lake City’s parking revenues are down significantly.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The City Council is now wondering why those projections have left a $1.5 million shortfall.

"It’s a big deal," said Council Chairman Charlie Luke.

The shortfall comes 18 months after the council hiked meter rates from $1.50 to $2 an hour and increased enforcement hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The previous time frame was 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday curb-side parking remains free but a two-hour limit was imposed.

According to projections from the administration of Mayor Ralph Becker in 2012, those actions should have raised parking revenue by about $1 million per year.

At the same time, the city urged motorists to make use of an estimated 30,000 public parking spaces downtown in privately owned garages and surface lots.

Luke wonders why revenues are down. Is it motorists using private lots? Is it more people using TRAX? Is it people staying away from downtown due to the parking rate hike? Is it fewer parking tickets?

"That’s what we’re trying to figure out," he said.

Luke voted against the parking-fee hike 2012, saying it could keep people from coming downtown for shopping, dining and entertainment. He noted that a number of Salt Lake Valley malls offer free parking.

story continues below
story continues below

In an interview this week, Luke said he hopes he was wrong.

"When you are talking about economic development, you’re talking about bringing people downtown," he said. "I had argued a rate hike would discourage people."

Councilman Kyle LaMalfa agreed that the $1.5 million shortfall is significant.

It throws a wrench into the city’s $221 million budget, he said. "We are going to have to make some cuts somewhere to make up for it," he said.

Although there is no evidence, LaMalfa said part of the phenomenon may well be motorists seeking parking in private facilities.

"There may be some good news in this," he said. "Part of the reason we raised rates was to get people to use private parking garages."

Businesses sought the evening enforcement extension from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in order to increase turnover at curb-side slots. According to Jason Mathis, of the Downtown Alliance business group, increased turnover helps retailers, particularly restaurants that don’t want employees taking up what could be customer parking in front of their eateries.

Becker spokesman Art Raymond said city analysts are "crunching numbers" to determine what caused the shortfall.


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.