CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) – Throughout a particular assembly Wednesday, the Cedar Falls metropolis council unanimously voted to droop charges in public parking heaps within the downtown and School Hill areas till subsequent April, a transfer that got here on the behest of the native enterprise neighborhood.
The town stated the suspension would cost at least $5,000 a month in revenue, and employees stated in the course of the assembly that Cedar Falls was closely invested in its parking program, having spent about $200,000 in research and implementation over the previous couple of years.
However earlier this week, Cedar Falls Group Most important Avenue despatched a letter to metropolis leaders, encouraging them to droop the paid parking system till July 1, 2021, and saying, “We really feel that the pandemic is way from over, and the companies are in want of this measure of assist in our downtown district proper now.”
The town had briefly suspended parking charges earlier within the pandemic, an motion supported by Johna Petersen, the proprietor of The Pump Haus Pub & Grill downtown.
“October is after they began imposing it, and we received a lot pushback from our clients,” Petersen stated. “Folks had been upset, and there’s different locations you possibly can go to park without cost, in order that’s the place they began going.”
Petersen stated parking woes have been a longstanding drawback in downtown Cedar Falls, and the implementation of paid heaps final yr didn’t alleviate them.
The parking drawback is a twofold concern downtown: Avenue parking is free, however there are deadlines, and spots could be exhausting to return by, particularly on Most important Avenue.
“Typically the road parking, it’s exhausting to get out and in with out avoiding an accident,” stated Lauren Thome of Waterloo, who visits Cedar Falls about as soon as per week.
Then again, whereas it’s simpler to discover a spot in one of many public heaps off Most important Avenue, drivers usually must pay to park there.
Petersen stated drivers who aren’t accustomed to Cedar Falls’ parking insurance policies may not know spots within the heaps aren’t free.
“Clearly we want higher signage. This says, ‘public parking’ again right here, however it doesn’t have a greenback signal or something to that nature,” she stated.
Petersen stated the lack of clients due to parking points has turn into a good worse loss in current weeks as a result of The Pump Haus can’t serve clients at its historically busiest hours due to a statewide emergency proclamation.
“Now we’re closed down at 10 o’clock, so there is no such thing as a late evening, and a majority of our income comes from that,” she stated.
Petersen stated she doesn’t know what answer would fulfill each downtown companies and town, placing ahead the thought of paid lot parking throughout daytime hours on weekdays and free lot parking on weekday nights and weekends as a attainable choice.
She, nonetheless, want to see downtown do away with paid parking for good.
“I don’t know if that’s cheap,” Petersen stated. “However for proper now, because of COVID, that is positively a win.”
Within the meantime, Petersen stated The Pump Haus wants extra daytime clients, like Thome, who stated she would like to maintain her cash out of the pay machines.
“I’d relatively pay extra to assist a small enterprise than not have to fret about parking or paying to park,” Thome stated.
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