Free Parking at Downtown Garage
Free parking is available every Saturday at the Downtown Garage at the corner of Yale Avenue and Knox Road
Free parking is available during Saturdays this summer at the Downtown Garage at the corner of Knox Road and Yale Avenue, according to Economic Development Coordinator Michael Stiefvater.
The parking initiative-- called Free Summer Saturdays-- is part of a plan by the College Park City Council to boost sales in the city during the summer months.
“It’s a way to attract people downtown during the summer months when businesses are slow,” Stiefvater said.
Drivers will be able to park for free on Saturdays until Aug. 11. The parking garage also offers free parking on Sundays throughout the year.
“Summer parking should be free,” said Jay Ross, a College Park resident. “There are far more spots than cars during the summer months, and the free parking will be a good way to boost sales when the college students are gone.”
City council unanimously approved the free parking measure earlier this year. Councilmember Marcus Afzali (Dist. 4) proposed the initiative, arguing the free parking on Saturdays will increase traffic in local businesses.
As for Stiefvater, he says he’ll measure the success of free parking by comparing Saturday sales at local businesses during the summer to Saturday sales from previous months.
“Maybe we could do it again next summer,” he said, adding that he will take the sales figures into account in deciding whether to continue the free parking.
And for the most part, Stiefvater says free parking has been warmly received in College Park.
“People are ecstatic,” he said. “It’s well received. Generally there has been a good reaction.”