It will cost more to park at the Salt Lake Main Library's underground parking garage, starting Nov. 17.
Starting then, the free parking period will be reduced from one hour to 30 minutes. After the half-hour free period, the cost will be $1.25 per each additional 30 minutes at the 210 E. 400 South facility.
This adjustment is the result of a recent decision by the Salt Lake City Council. It is intended to defray the cost of maintaining city-owned parking garages.
The Salt Lake Main Library has printed a flier explaining the policy change and stating, " regret the inconvenience."
"I'd rather it be free for the (first) hour," said Clayton Thomas of Salt Lake City. He regularly uses the underground parking for about one hour at a time and isn't excited about yet another rising cost, or that the "free library" won't be free, because of parking fees.
Still, he said there are almost always parking spaces available in the garage and it is convenient and well-kept.
Mike from Kaysville said, "The increase does bother me." He spent 70 minutes at the library and left knowing it will cost more the next time he comes.
Mimi Cruz, general manager of Salt Lake's Night Flight Comics in Library Square, said she didn't think the parking increase will hurt business. However, she expressed concern for the low-income library users, who might have their access to a "free" public library restricted by the change.
Any vehicle with a disabled placard or license plate sticker will still be able to park free for up to two hours in the underground garage, same as before.
The underground garage has about 600 total parking spaces on two levels.
Those wanting to save money parking at the library, at least from Nov. 27-Jan. 1, can park for up to two hours free at any Salt Lake metered parking stall. That's because once again Salt Lake City is offering free downtown parking for up to two hours during the holidays.
Even so, the cost of parking at meters is only $1 per hour. So starting Nov. 17, and before and after the holiday season, if you need to park at the library more than 30 minutes, it will be cheaper to park along the street at a meter.
Another option is that there are some, two-hour zone parking spaces that are not metered sometimes available just southeast of Library Square.Also, back on June 12, the Utah Transit Authority extended its "free fare zone" to include the Salt Lake Main Library TRAX station.
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