Parking is getting more expensive in downtown Chattanooga - with more aggressive parking ambassadors from CARTA forcing more drivers to garages and with rising charges slated for at least one of those garages.
Also, two free lots near the Bluff View Art District are being lost.
A gravel lot with 200 spaces at Riverfront Parkway, Walnut Street and Aquarium Way (Second Street) has been fenced off. An apartment complex and a new home for the Little Miss Mag child care center are underway.
A city panel on Thursday agreed to start charging for a lot with 88 spaces that has long been free at the corner of Walnut and Aquarium Way.
The Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation told Brad Burkett, who oversees parking for the city, to mark the 88 spaces and put in a collection box. He recommended a charge of $3 to $5 per day. He said a private lot across the street charges $3, but that may go up after the recent loss of the 200 free spaces.
Mr. Burkett said a sign would be posted advising those accustomed to using the free lot that a charge is on the way.
He said many downtown hospitality workers park there and walk to nearby restaurants and hotels. CARTA officials have set up spaces in several downtown lots where the hospitality workers can park for $15-$20 per week.
Developer Mike Moon said his firm has an option on the 88-space lot as a part of its project of ringing that block with condos. But he said the fourth and final phase of the development will probably impact only a small part of the lot. Two phases of Walnut Commons have been built, and the third will face Third Street.
The CDRC also approved a rate increase at the parking garage next to the city-owned Chattanoogan hotel. The charge will go from $65 a month to $80 a month. The TVA fleet is not assessed tax so their charge will go from $59.50 to $73.
Mr. Burkett said there are 165 people on a waiting list to get into the Chattanoogan garage. He said there is a nine-month waiting list to be included at the nearby Convention Center parking garage.
He said the average charge currently for parking garages in the vicinity of the Chattanoogan garage is $82.38. For downtown as a whole it is $78.14.