Iowa City officials looking to fix downtown parking problems - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Iowa City officials looking to fix downtown parking problems

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Parking in downtown Iowa City may soon get a little easier.  City officials say they want your ideas on how to improve parking - a problem many face when visiting downtown.

Mauro Heck has been living in Iowa City for more than 30 years. He's says the best way to get around is on foot or two wheels.

"It's become horrible," said Heck. "So many more cars. So many more stoplights. That's why I ride my bike. I ride my bike and there's parking everywhere."

But for cars, parking can be a challenge.

"It's impossible to find anywhere to park," said Jeremy Olson, of Iowa City.  "You got to pay most places and I just think we need some more parking spaces."

City officials recognize the problems.  That's why they're holding public forums this week to find solutions.  They also want to hear thoughts on new ideas, like limited free parking in the ramps, and new smart meters, like in Cedar Rapids, where machines take credit cards or payments by phone.  Some people think it's a good idea.

"It would be nice if they took a card instead of having to have change," said Steven Horowitz, of Iowa City.  "I don't like the fact that most of the parking is only an hour parking. And that's more of the problem - that you can't park for long."

City officials will host two forums this week at the Iowa City Public Library. The first one will be on Monday from 10:30-12pm and the second will be Wednesday from 1:30-3pm.

While many feel the pain of trying to park, others say it's just a good excuse to walk.

"It's better for all of our health," said Maureen McCue, of Oxford.  "I park in one place and do all of my walking so I walk about a mile downtown in and out of different places if I need to run errands or work or whatever."

If you can't make the forums, city officials will post information on the Iowa City web site December 12th and you can share your opinions.  The deadline to submit your ideas in December 21st.

After gathering feedback city staff will propose changes to the city council.

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