DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque will soon add hundreds of parking meters to the downtown area. The city council approved that plan Tuesday night.
The city plans to install as many as 230 parking meters in the Historic Millwork District. Crews are currently redeveloping that area to include retail and residential space.
Along the Cable Car Square in downtown Dubuque, Teri Connely sells all kinds of bulk food items at the Calico Bean Market. But, what she doesn't have to offer her customers is free parking.
Connely said, "we have on street parking only and it is all metered, we have two meters in front of our store."
City leaders admit metered parking can deter customers, but they say it'll be the best solution for parking in the Millwork District.
Parking Division Manager Tim Horsfield said, "If we don't have a system of controlling the length of time parking down there, the area would fill up with employees in the downtown area and employees in the Millwork District. It wouldn't leave any space that's needed for a successful retail operation."
City crews recently built a 469 stall parking ramp a couple blocks from the Millwork District. But they believe not all customers will want to park in the ramp.
Horsfield said, "People tend to like to park on the street, if they can, as close to where they are doing their business."
The city plans to install the new meters as they're needed. Each individual meter could cost the city as much as $1300.
As for Connely, she keeps a positive perspective on metered parking.
Connely said, "If we did not have metered parking, the parking spots would all be taken by people who work in this area."
The city also plans to build a transportation hub right next to the Millwork District. City leaders expect that will be a free place both visitors and residents can park.