A new six-month pilot program aimed at encouraging more parking at the city's underutilized West Parking Deck received approval from the Dearborn City Council on Tuesday.
Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., vehicles will be charged a $1 flat rate for the first two hours, and 50 cents per hour thereafter. From 4 p.m. until 4 a.m. vehicles will be charged a flat rate of $2 with a validation rate of 50 cents for two hours.
The program will go into effect immediately and will be monitored by Republic Parking. It will be reviewed by the city's Parking Advisory Commission at the end of the six-month period. The PAC will then decide whether to cancel the program or adopt a permanent fee schedule.
"Many visitors to the west downtown business district are parking outside the district for free and walking past the West Parking Deck as they enter the district," the commission said in a notice to council members.
In July 2012, council authorized a flat rate of $2 after 4 p.m. at the parking structure. While the rate has attracted more customers, the commission said there are ongoing opportunities to increase revenue.
"As a result, the pilot program will serve as an incentive via reduced rates and parking validation for customers evading the paid parking system to park in the West Deck," the commission said.
The current rate before 4 p.m. for two-hour parking is $1.25. Fifty-six customers per day will need to park at the deck to cover the cost of the new rates.
In voting for program, Councilman David Bazzy commended the PAC for its work to develop a new fee schedule.
The West Parking Deck is located at 22301 West Village Drive.