The Council will discuss tomorrow if the City should offer free parking at the City parking garage on summer Saturdays, as a means of encouraging patronage of downtown businesses.
Currently City offers free parking during Sundays only. According to staff, the average lost revenue for a summer Saturday would be approximately $563.
Staff discussed offering free Saturday parking after Memorial Day (May 28, 2012), until 2 weekends before the UM fall semester begins on August 29. This would be 11 Saturdays, from June 2 through August 11. Therefore, The total lost revenue for 11 summer Saturdays would be approximately $6,200.
Staff is also recommending to spend an additional $500 towards at least one banner for the garage. Thus the total estimated cost of offering free garage parking on 11 summer Saturdays is $6,700.
Making the garage free might increase willingness of people to come to downtown College Park and patronize our businesses on the weekends. Please let me know your thoughts on whether the City should pursue this.