This is Walt Mack.
Parking, parking everywhere, and not a free space to be found anywhere.
That seems to be the situation on the UNC campus and elsewhere in Chapel Hill as parking continues to become more problematic.
The University has announced it will terminate free night parking effective August 15th. That means low-paid, night shift employees have no alternative but to cough up $227 a year. Affected are food service workers, custodians and security officers.
But it doesn’t end there. Another parking fee of $10.40 has been tacked on to already tuition-burdened students by UNC Trustees. Every student, no matter whether he or she drives a car on campus, will be required to pay the additional fee this Fall. The money that it brings in will help the University fund its share of the fare-free bus service. So one wonders whether the bus service for students can really be called free anymore.
Meantime, the formerly free park-and-ride lots are no longer gratis, now requiring paid permits or a daily rate.
Parking in Chapel Hill and Carrboro is also risky, and could result in your car being towed. You’ve got to feed the meter or make sure you are not parking in a private area or it can result in bye-bye car.
And by the way, the Town of Chapel Hill cannot regulate towing fees anymore, struck down by judicial decree, so the sky’s the limit on what towing companies can charge. Perhaps a sign should be posted as you enter Chapel Hill warning, “Parking here can be hazardous to your wealth.” Better yet, get a bicycle.