SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Downtown Sioux Falls has free parking on weekends and after 5, but that soon could change. KELOLAND’s Whitney Fowkes talks to drivers about why the city may start charging for the spaces.
The city of Sioux Falls wants to resolve this parking issue for business owners who could be losing thousands of dollars. Downtown Sioux Falls is encouraging people to use the parking ramp so visitors can still experience the environment.
People come downtown to experience a different shopping climate.
“Out at the mall of course you don’t have to pay to park, but that would not stop me from coming downtown because I enjoy coming downtown,” Gary Miller, Sioux Falls Visitor, said.
People we spoke with Friday say they would actually pay for this atmosphere.
“Being from out of town, if I wanted to come in on Saturday I can’t find a parking spot anywhere, so I think a perfect solution would be to charge for parking on Saturday and Sunday also, so that people wouldn’t park for the whole weekend in one spot,” Gary Miller said.
Rodger Ellingson agrees that it would help support local businesses.
“About a year ago we had a speaker here in downtown Sioux Falls who pointed out that towns that have gone with actually a higher price for parking and charging on the weekends, they get a higher turnover of cars and that really affects business,” Rodger Ellingson, Sioux Falls Citizen, said.
Without having to worry about the meter on the weekends, cars can occupy spots for days on end.
“Sometimes I’m in one spot for two or three hours so I kind of see how fast turnover occurs in parking spots. And there are times on the weekends when a whole row of cars just sit there on a saturday afternoon,” Rodger Ellingson said.
We also spoke with a downtown business to see what impact the proposed parking charge would have on their shop.