The cost to park in downtown Grand Junction is going up, and that just might be good for business.

At first glance, that statement may seem like the worst possible news, considering the recent string of closings on Main Street. However, on second thought, maybe this is exactly what is needed to keep more downtown businesses from closing their doors.

The Grand Junction City Council approved a resolution to raise the cost of downtown parking from 50 cents an hour to 75 cents an hour. If downtown businesses are already struggling, how can raising parking fees possibly make things better for them? Won't that just discourage more people from coming downtown?

The raise in parking fees downtown seems to actually be geared toward creating more parking spaces close to stores, which for convenience sake, makes the trip downtown more appealing.

By some accounts, many of these prime parking spaces are being gobbled up by employees of downtown merchants, thereby forcing customers to walk farther to their destination. It seems like a no-brainer, giving top consideration to your customers and to make their shopping experience as pleasant and convenient as possible.

Perhaps the rise in parking fees will help discourage store employees from parking in those prime spaces, thus creating more parking turnover through the day for people who are coming and going.

My personal experience in downtown is that I rarely need a full hour, so I can still just pay for the 15 minutes or so, and it feels like the increase is pretty nominal. My feelings might be different if I was needing to be downtown every single day and constantly feeding the parking meter.

Time will tell if the increased parking fees will improve the parking situation downtown, and ultimately, whether it is good for downtown business.

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