After reading yet another article about the parking "problem" in downtown Carrboro/Chapel Hill, I thought it'd be worth revisiting solutions to this problem. (Or maybe non-problem, I've never had trouble parking in either town, so I don't really know what people are talking about, unless their definition of parking is parking within a 1/10th mile of the business/restaurant they wish to visit).
More specifically, it seems that all of the experiments with performance parking are working splendidly, so I wonder if Carrboro has considered applying lessons learned in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and smaller towns, locally. For example, instead of free parking, or low-cost parking, why not vary parking prices based on demand? As spaces are filled up, the price increases, and as people leave, the prices go down. Instead of having meters that run out after 2 hours (making it difficult for people to enjoy a long meal, or a movie, or a stroll through town), why not raise or eliminate the cap, allowing to people to park, and pay for the right to do so, as long as they please?
Furthermore, why is building more parking lots, rather than housing that would be occupied 24/7, seen as a priority for downtown Carrboro. I suspect the downtown parking lots owned by the town are worth several millions dollars as is, and would return significantly more than that if they were converted to apartment buildings or office space.
While the "whither parking in Carrboro" story is not unusual, it is troubling that even after a decade of transformative research on parking and urban design people are still making the assumption that parking must be free, and freely available, at all times.