Street parking could rise to $4 an hour in Bethesda if new proposal passes

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Bethesda residents are reacting to a proposal to increase parking rates during peak hours.

The county's hope is that by bumping up street parking costs, more drivers will use the parking garages.

On Friday, FOX 5 spoke with several patrons in the area and no one was in favor of the idea being pushed by County Executive Marc Elrich. If all goes according to Elrich's plan, street parking costs could nearly double during high demand periods.

Montgomery County's Department of Transportation says they're waiting to see how the proposal plays out before they make a public comment, but they did say Bethesda's Chamber of Commerce is meeting with the transportation department to learn more about how the plan could impact businesses and shoppers.

"We don't want that... it's hard enough to find a place to park down here," said Rockville residents Beth and John Giannone.

Many people we spoke with say if parking goes up to $4 an hour during peak periods, they'd forgo driving altogether and take public transportation or come less frequently.
"Everything on peak time is high around here... I think I'm just going to have to catch the Metro from now on," said Fort Washington resident Larry Barbour.

A business owner FOX 5 spoke with off camera says she doesn't think the parking rate increase will impact business because she says most customers live in the area and if they don't, they likely use area parking garages.

If Elrich's plan is approved, it could reportedly go into effect as early as this summer.