SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — No more carry out parking spots on Phillips Avenue and Main Street in Sioux Falls.

Those spots will be converted starting this week to metered parking in downtown Sioux Falls, Matt Nelson the public parking facilities manager for the city, said during an August 9 news conference.

But customers will have options for quick pick up of purchases on nearby streets.

The city will create 15-minute express zone spots on 10th and 11th and 12th Streets.

“These zones will be a shared space of what are currently commercial load zones. They are currently taxi zones. They’re 20-minute carryout spaces and some of them are meters,” Nelson said.

Instead of individual spots for load zones, for example, the express zones will be combination spaces.

The conversion will create about 20 express zone spaces.

The carryout spaces were created during the COVID-19 pandemic to help customers and businesses. President Joe Biden declared an end to the pandemic national emergency this spring so it’s time for those spots to be removed, Nelson said.

Traffic in the city’s core downtown is almost at pre-pandemic levels, Nelson said.

The changes are being made because of that and with input from Downtown Sioux Falls, the city’s public parking advisory board and downtown businesses, he said.

The express zone parking spots will be “particularly helpful on weekends with people using ride share,” said Joe Batcheller, the president of Downtown Sioux Falls.

Ride share services may park on Phillips on a Friday or Saturday and block traffic, Nelson said.

The city would encourage ride share services to park in the new express zones on 10th, 11th and 12th.

Economics plays a role in the parking changes.

“Prime parking on Phillips needs to be used to its fullest potential,” he said.

Analysis shows that a parking space that turns over 12 to 15 times a day can result in $300,000 in revenue a year to a business, Batcheller said.

That’s a lot of potential revenue on Phillips Avenue and Main Street, he said

The changes will help to alleviate some congestion and create turnover but parking is still free after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends on Phillips Avenue and Main Street.

Possible ways to address parking in the downtown at night and on weekends have been discussed for several years, Nelson said.

One of the issues is that residents of downtown housing will park on Phillips Avenue or Main Street from Friday night to Monday morning, Nelson said. Some business owners or employees will also park for several hours in a downtown spot.

“We have four ramps open to the public. We have 1,700 parking spots within one block of Phillips,” Nelson said.

Batcheller noted those parking spots are also free on nights and weekends.