There is no such thing as free parking. It will cost the city about $25,000 per space to build a parking structure, and that is without adjusting for the spaces that were already there. In Royal Oak, parking has always been paid for with parking system revenue. The city does not use city tax revenue for parking. One way or another, the city will need to increase parking revenue. That can be done by increasing fees, or it can be done with a special parking assessment on properties in the Central Business District, which are not required to provide their own parking, or with a combination of the two. The city has always used parking fees in the past to finance parking in Royal Oak. Birmingham uses both fees and special assessments.
The DDA serves as the city’s parking committee, and it has created a subcommittee to look at how the city should be paying for parking. That could lead to the use of special assessments in the future.
Current rates are extremely low. Anyone who spends anytime in downtown Detroit is well aware of this. The rate in the garage at Woodward and State Street is $5/hour. The city of Royal Oak charges .75/hour and the first two hours are free.