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Survey Asks: Would You Be Willing To Pay For Weekend Parking In Bethesda?

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 2/13/2013, 12:00pm  ET

A survey from the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) asks downtown residents, employees and visitors for their opinions on shopping, dining, traffic and for one thing they would improve about the area.

It also asks something that if proposed, might stir up some passionate opposition: Would you be willing to pay for public parking garage use on weekends?

The idea is not a new one. Bethesda’s public garages are free on the weekends and the garage serving Bethesda Row is especially busy now because of construction on the site of Lot 31.

It would add more revenue to the county’s coffers and could theoretically give the BUP more funding to market and maintain the Central Business District. The majority of the BUP’s funding comes from parking revenues and a special Urban District Tax on downtown Bethesda businesses.

The survey also asks about the availability of parking options and pricing of public parking fees, which range from 85 cents to $1.25 per hour.

It asks about interest in the BUP’s Bethesda Circulator, a free shuttle service that connects riders in Woodmont Triangle and Bethesda Row to the Bethesda Metro station and other. There are questions about dining options, shopping options and a question that asks if entertainment options are “geared towards limited age groups.”

Finally, the survey asks: If you had the opportunity to make one improvement to downtown Bethesda, what would it be?