Bethesda parking could get more pricey

Parking in Bethesda can be tough to find and pricey when you do.

“I feel like I have a sack of change in my car and then I park once and I can’t even pay for it,” says Brownwen Wolcott.

Soon, Wolcott will have to fork even more just to park for an hour downtown. County Executive Ike Leggett hopes to raise rates from $1.25 per hour to $2 an hour.

“I understand they need this to pay for programs, but it’s expensive enough as it is,” says Howard Clare, who used to live in Montgomery County and visits often.

Under the new plan, drivers could save some costs if they use parking garages. Spots would run just 80 cents per hour at a flat rate.

“You have to park your car somewhere so you just kind of have to suck it up and deal with it,” says Joe DeGiorgi.

The proposal is part of Leggett’s 2014 budget plan and would help fill in the county’s large fiscal gap, but resident Bob Berry points out that parking rates and monthly passes increased just last year.

“I feel like they do this all the time and it’s just silly,” says Berry.

Residents will have the chance to voice those concerns at a public hearing on April 23. If the measure is adopted, the rate changes would go into effect July 1.