A decade of “Free” Parking


A decade of “Free” Parking

Cedar Rapids has a problem. Its downtown has been ravaged by floor waters and is having trouble attracting buisnesses and customers into its central core. So the Mayor had a great idea – Let’s have a “decade of Free Parking.” Yes, you read it here second – a decade of free parking. There is only one problem – how does the city pay for free parking?

He acknowledges that parking isn’t “free” since someone has to pay for it. However he determines that it must be a popular feature in cities because, after all, it’s on the corner of a Monoply board. Don’t believe me? Read the article here.

WOW!! Not a world about urban renewal, marketing the downtown, attracting business and customers by taking the money generated and plowing it back into that central core. However, he is able to save the day with Free Parking. Here is a direct quote:

‘We have to do something that’s out of the ordinary. Ten years of free parking would be out of the ordinary. And it certainly sends a message that we’re trying to revitalize the downtown and rebuild it over a 10-year period.”

Let me see – they will commit to a decade of free parking downtown. Then in six months when all the people who work downtown are parking on the street taking up all the spaces for customers and the merchants demand parking charges back, what will that do to his commitment.

Not a problem. All politicans promises come with an expiry date.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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