The city of Brighton heard a presentation on downtown parking at a study session preceding the regular meeting Thursday night.

The presentation was given by David Burr, parking planning director for Rich & Associates of Southfield. Burr tells WHMI the study revealed that downtown public parking lot use averages only about 60% during the daytime but goes up dramatically in the evening due to the popularity of dining at the many popular downtown restaurants.

Burr said that the statistics were a bit skewed in the survey because it was taken during wintertime and needs to be redone in the summer, when parking spaces are in greater demand, to get a more accurate picture of downtown parking needs. Part of Phase one of the 2-phase parking study was a survey of local residents to see how they stood on the issue of paid parking. That’s something the city is giving consideration to in its efforts to raise new revenues in the face of the rising cost of running city government.

Not surprisingly, the respondents said overwhelmingly that they do not want parking meters or any other kind of paid parking in downtown Brighton. One person said they’d visit the downtown much less if paid parking were instituted. Another said that, “Small towns who charge for parking appear greedy and end up losing business to the malls.” Yet another said that paid parking would discourage out-of-towners from coming to Brighton to do their shopping and dining and another person said that paid parking “will drive away customers from struggling businesses,” suggesting that instead, the city should enforce the two-hour parking limit to create more parking spaces. (TT)