Opinion: Parking in Downtown Waterloo Should Be Free
There's a push right now to allow *some* free parking in downtown Waterloo. KWWL reports the Waterloo City council is considering relaxing parking meter costs to help downtown businesses. They're struggling, like most businesses, with the pandemic. One idea is to let customers park for free for 15 minutes so they could pop into a business (like Here's What's Poppin' - see what I did there) and grab something, then leave. Another proposal would allow for one hour to be free...
I have a crazy idea... why not make all Downtown Waterloo parking free. Period. Not just on weekends... or after 5pm weekdays. It's not that radical, Main St. Cedar Falls, arguably the most hoppin' few blocks in the Cedar Valley, charges nothing to park - with the exception of a couple paid lots. Plus, with no meter, you can relax, enjoy whatever business or businesses you want, then continue on to the next establishment without having to rush back to your car.
Will this happen? Probably not. According to that same KWWL article, Waterloo received $461.574.91 in parking revenue for the fiscal year which just ended on June 30, 2020. Of that, $121,788.12 came right from those pesky parking meters. But hey, here's hoping it happens sometime.