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Long-Term Parking Fees to Rise in Bethesda Lots, Garages

But parkers won't be charged on Saturdays as originally proposed.

Beginning July 1, Bethesda parkers will be charged more to park long-term in lots and garages in the downtown. But parkers won't be charged on Saturdays -- the plan (D).

The Montgomery County Council voted Tuesday to hike fees in Bethesda and Silver Spring, but the vote came after 

The Examiner reports the hikes are expected to generate $650,000 of revenue for Bethesda. But the revenue won't go towards general tax funds and the county's $300 million budget gap, members of the Bethesda business community pointed out at an April 26 public hearing.

Parking fees in downtown Bethesda fund Bethesda’s parking lot district, dedicated to specific uses in downtown Bethesda including funding and maintaining parking lots and funding the 

At the April public hearing, County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) said the fees were intended to restore the health of the parking lot district, which is funding , a major new parking garage project which has yet to break ground at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues.

“This is not about raising revenue; this is about restoring the health of the PLD, which is funding the most costly parking lot in our county. The Bethesda business community said, ‘We need all these spaces,’” Berliner said at the public hearing.

At Tuesday's council session, County Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large) said he supported charging on Saturdays, the Examiner reported, though those fees were voted down. 

"I don't understand why I don't get charged for when I go into the garage on Saturday," Riemer said, according to the Examiner. "I think it's an absolute missed opportunity."

russresearcher May 11, 2011 at 04:46 PM
So, to clarify, rates would increase as follows; Monday-Friday long-term parking rates in Bethesda and Silver Spring's lots and garages – rates charged after the first three hours – would change from 65 cents to 75 cents an hour. Parking for the first three hours would remain $1 an hour. Correct? Thanks
Erin Donaghue (Editor) May 11, 2011 at 06:29 PM
That's correct for Bethesda -- long term parking rates (rates charged after the first three hours) will jump from 65 cents to 75 cents an hour in lots and garages. The first three hours will remain $1 an hour. In Bethesda, monthly passes will jump from $120 to $140. However, parking rates are different in Silver Spring. Check out page 14 of this council packet for more info: http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1332&meta_id=20661
Arlene K. Polangin May 12, 2011 at 06:02 PM
As it is, the Montgomery County/Bethesda consumer is being gouged left and right. If businesses are to continue to generate business on the weekend when most people are off work, at least they will get a break by continuing to have free parking in the garages on Saturday in Bethesda.
Gaye May 12, 2011 at 11:41 PM
next time, think harder about whom you are electing to our county council and as our county executive. straight party votes do not always serve our community best. our business community matters. stop making it harder for them to survive.

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