Parking rate hike justified?

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

We never want to pay more, particularly when it comes to parking.

But the city’s recent move to a parking rate increase on Oxford’s Square from $1 to $1.25 per hour and an increase in the hours metered from 10 p.m. until midnight most nights is par for the course the city is on.

The Square’s popularity means that parking in premium spots in front of stores, restaurants and bars is in the highest demand.

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Once upon a time, late on a Thursday night ,parking spots on the Square were easy to find — but not anymore. The same can be said for what used to be slower periods like mid-December. After Ole Miss’s exams ended, the Square, beyond some Christmas shoppers, would be relatively quiet, with parking easy to find.

This week is a good example of how things have changed. Exams have ended but the Square is bustling most of the day and into the night, with parking in the premium spots hard to find.

Supply and demand shows that the slight increase in the parking rate won’t have any immediate impact on Square traffic, but it will help the city pay for a new parking garage, which is a long-term improvement we can all get behind.