Jefferson City Considers Free Resident Parking Downtown

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JEFFERSON CITY - Conflict is brewing between people who live in downtown Jefferson City and people who do business there.  City Council is considering a bill that would grant free parking to some downtown residents for five years.

"We're trying to encourage property owners to develop their lofts upstairs, right now they're almost completely vacant," said council member Carrie Carroll.

Downtown residents would get free parking in designated areas of downtown Jefferson City. Several business owners complain free parking for residents would take away parking spots for customer's, and hurt business.

"It's destructive to our business...and having been in business forty-five years, I understand that we need parking," said business owner Carolyn McDowell. 

Carroll disagrees, saying parking is not a problem in Jefferson City, but she would like it to evenually become an issue. 

"I would love to have that problem. We're so far off from that, we have so few people living downtown," said Carroll. 

Carroll doesn't believe that giving residents free parking would take up customers' spaces, because most residents will be at work during the day--not leaving their cars downtown. 

After five years, residents would have to pay $20 per month for parking.

Click here for a summary of the bill.