Park free in Birmingham in structures through Dec. 31

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published September 8, 2020

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BIRMINGHAM — Businesses in Birmingham continue to face challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept so many customers — and their wallets — at home.

But one challenge those businesses haven’t had to face is finding their customers cheap parking, and that will continue through the end of the year now that the city has extended its free parking program in all five municipal structures.

“We’re pleased to continue relief efforts to help the community,” said Birmingham City Manager Joe Valentine in a prepared statement. “These incentives will help keep our community active during a period of limited activity.”

Visitors are also encouraged to enjoy contact-free parking with the ParkMobile parking application. Drivers may register for free at parkmobile.com and use a mobile app, the internet, QR code or call toll free at (800) 280-4146 to pay for parking at meters.

Birmingham Shopping District Executive Director Ingrid Tighe said she’s heard from merchants and customers in the downtown area that the free parking has been very appreciated throughout the pandemic.

“This is one less expense businesses and employees have to worry about during these tough times,” Tighe said in an email.

Jessica Lundberg, the spa director at Rivage Day Spa on South Old Woodward, said she’s grateful the city decided to extend the free parking.

“I instantly became Boss of the Year when I shared the great news with my staff,” Lundberg said in an email. “I appreciate the city looking ahead and helping the merchants with the parking. We want to be easy to get to, whether it’s for our guests or our staff.”

But let’s be honest: The real showstopper in downtown is the public valet service locations at Hamilton Row, near Ferndale, and at South Old Woodward, Near Merrill. Guests can have their vehicle parked for $5 for the first two hours, then an additional $5 for each hour thereafter 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

“People do appreciate the valet, too. Understandably, less people are utilizing valet during the pandemic, but for those who are comfortable, they really like the convenience,” Tighe said.

City of Birmingham Communications Director Marianne Gamboa said the parking system has sufficient reserves to absorb the temporary loss of revenue.

For more information about parking in Birmingham, visit bhamgov.org/parking.

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