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Downtown York parking garages to charge drivers for an additional 1.5 hours

City officials extended the payment period in three downtown garages to 8 p.m. due to a parking revenue deficit caused by the pandemic.

YORK, Pa. — Parking in the downtown York area will soon cost more for some visitors.

Starting early March, three public garages on West King, West Philadelphia and East Market streets will charge drivers to pay for parking through 8 p.m. instead of the current cutoff time of 6:30 p.m. Once the new rule goes into effect, parking will be free only past the new 8 p.m. benchmark.

"I do think it is a bit of...a bummer of a change, but I think it's unrealistic for things to stay the same," said Alexandria Hammond, the owner of My Girlfriend's Wardrobe, a clothing store in downtown York.

Hammond said the change will not only impact customers, but herself and her fellow business owners, too.

"We as the businesses will get the brunt of it from our customers," she said. "Most of our customers are going to the businesses and complain about the parking instead of the actual city."

York Parking Bureau Manager, Kittrell Barnes, said his organization made the decision to extend paid parking hours after meeting with a parking consulting firm. Barnes said the firm suggested the city charge for parking spaces 24 hours, seven days a week. However, York officials decided that extending payments until 8 p.m. was a compromise for both the city and its residents.

"It's a lot less harsher than 24 hours honestly," said Barnes. "Doing it all day is something we have to build to and make sure downtown York can sustain it."

Another major reason for the change is a loss in city parking revenue. 

Barnes said that between March 2020 and May 2021, York lost at least $600,000 from parking operations. The deficit stemmed from fewer motorists using meters, garages and parking lots during the height of the pandemic.

Hammond said she would like the city to host a town hall and consider business owners' views in the decision making process.

"I think they should ask the businesses their opinions and see if we can come up with a plan that everybody wins," Hammond explained.

Under the new regulations, hourly garage rates will remain the same and will continue to be free on weekends and observed holidays. Current garage parking prices are:

  • Up to 1 hour : $1.50
  • Up to 2 hour:  $3.00
  • Up to 3 hours: $6.50
  • Up to 4 hours:$10.00
  • Each additional hour is $2.50/hour.

Barnes said the new parking rules will take effect in early March, but the exact date has not been decided.

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