Business Owners On The Post-Parking Meter Era
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) It's been months since the downtown parking meters were removed, so overall has it been a good thing for our local businesses or has it had a negative effect? Several of the business owners tell us more cars and patrons can be found. Owners are re–doing their store fronts and there's overall a different vibe.
Kelly's has been located on Main Street for 24 years. The owner, Kelly Howa, wouldn't be anywhere else but downtown.
Howa adds, "it's looking very nice downtown, it goes through changes, but downtown is wonderful, downtown is here to stay."
While Kelly's business hasn't changed much in the post–parking meter era, Cheryl Bruce's has.
"I've had a good month since the parking has changed. It seemed to really increase my business. I don't know if it was just due to that, but it seems that's the perception I have," adds Bruce.
Bruce owns Twin Falls Creative Arts Center. She says traditionally parents would drop their children off for class and then leave the area.
Now, they're staying.
"They usually stick around in my waiting room or they will browse downtown, go get a cup of coffee or get something to eat," adds Bruce.
Another observation Kelly has made over the last couple of months is that she sees a higher volume of traffic in downtown throughout the day.
Howa adds, "we do see people staying longer, they're not worried about rushing out and afraid of getting a ticket or needing to put more money in the meter. And I do see a lot more traffic, a lot more traffic."
While the rush of feedback has died down significantly at city level, now interest is rising in their new parking passes program, an effort to replenish some of the funds lost with the removal of the parking meters.
Mitch Humble, Community Development Director, City of Twin Falls adds, "really we lost 60% of revenue from the program. I don't expect parking passes to make up all of that, but some of it."
While parking downtown will remain free for the most part, you'll have to buy a pass if you're looking to stay awhile.
When the city held the parking meter auctions, Mitch Humble says a lot of people purchased the meters. That money will go into a fund for a future downtown project.