Consulting firm recommends changes to Cedar Falls downtown parking

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – One community is steering to solve its parking problems.

A consulting firm is hoping to find some solutions for an eastern Iowa city. KWWL’s Amanda Gilbert spoke with Senior Project Manager Andy Miller, who works for WGI consulting firm.

After a nearly four-month-long study, he has some long term and short solutions for Cedar Falls.

One idea is simply adding some more parking spaces. He says, “Create 17 more parking spaces by adding parallel parking to the other side of State Street.”

He says another idea is, “Try to get some of these private lots to allow customers to park there in the evenings because that’s when the demand is the greatest.”

Miller also talked about the two-hour parking limit signs throughout downtown. He suggests changing some time limits. “Main Street stays two hours, but the other side streets right off Main Street can go up to three hours, and then beyond the three hour zones, have no time limits. And allow people to park overnight on some of these side streets because I think that would provide some relief for apartment dwellers.”

Miller also talked about potential paid parking.

“My number one recommendation was we should not put meters on Main Street until the city can tell the public, yes we’re putting meters in but it’s going to pay for this public parking project, that has yet to be identified… but people would be more willing to pay for that if they know it’s going to go towards helping fix the problem.”

He adds, “We are talking about paid parking in the city lots, but we’re recommending very  small rates of $0.50 per hour, $3.00 to park all day, and then after 5:00 p.m. it’s a $3.00 flat rate no matter what. It wouldn’t be individual meters, it would be pay stations.”

KWWL asked if Miller ever sees a parking ramp being built in downtown Cedar Falls. He says, “I do think so, but not a stand-alone ramp. There’s almost no city in America right now building stand-alone parking ramps. They’re all building mixed-use parking structures.”

Right now, these are all recommendations; nothing is changing yet. Miller will be presenting his findings to the city council on February 18th. For this study, the consulting firm did an online study, and around 2,600 people responded.

 

Amanda Gilbert

Amanda Gilbert

Multimedia Journalist
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