In February, the Urban County Council gave initial approval to a compromise agreement with LexPark to return to free parking at downtown meters on weekends and after 7 pm on weekdays, Mayor Linda Gorton announced.
Multiple downtown business owners had expressed commerce and economic development concerns after LexPark expanded paid parking to include Saturdays and evenings.
“We have worked hard over many years to make Lexington’s restaurant scene one of the nation’s best, and to keep our downtown lively,” Gorton said. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we don’t want to harm our restaurants or downtown nightlife by limiting parking options.”
Beginning July 1, the city will increase the amount it pays to park 620 employee vehicles, including police cruisers, in downtown garages operated by LexPark. Currently the City pays 50 percent of market rate for employee parking. Under the new plan, the city will pay the government rate, an increase of about $200,000 a year.
LexPark stressed the need for additional revenue to make safety improvements.
“I am so pleased that the Lexington Parking Authority and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government have come together to find common ground on resolving this issue” said Board Chair, James Frazier, chair of the LexPark Board. “The administrations’ efforts were crucial to brokering a good resolution for all.”
LexPark, or the Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority, provides, maintains and operates public meters and parking garages, including the Helix Garage on Main Street, the Courthouse Garage on Barr Street, the Victorian Square Garage on Short Street, and the Transit Center on Vine Street.
This article appears on page 6 of the March 2023 issue of Ace. To subscribe, click here.