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How paid parking has impacted Caldwell businesses

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 03, 2024

CALDWELL, Idaho — Paid parking in downtown Caldwell has been in place for a couple of weeks. I checked in on businesses to see how they have been impacted.

  • The city's goal was to ease congestion and increase parking spot turnover allowing for more people to enjoy the area.
  • After weeks of coverage and anticipation of paid parking incoming, many businesses wanted to remain neutral.
  • Impacts on businesses depend on their location; some have side streets that are not paid, making regulars lucky.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

"From day one of parking meters to today, have you seen that confusion go down?" I asked of Flying M's manager, Aaron Tran.

"I think confusion has gone down very slightly but on day one, nobody really knew about it so it didn't affect business or the community unless you were a regular. I'd say it was more shocking but then confusion added on when it came to using them," he said.

Paid parking has been a new part of Downtown Caldwell for a couple of weeks now. As Idaho News 6 has previously reported, residents were annoyed by the changes, making it more difficult to support local businesses. The city's goal was to ease congestion and increase parking spot turnover allowing for more people to enjoy the area. But these changes have affected some businesses.

After weeks of coverage and anticipation of paid parking incoming, many businesses I went into today wanted to remain neutral. One business I spoke with considered themselves lucky.

Their main entrance faces a paid parking street but the street on the other side of the building is not. Their regulars know to take advantage of that quirk.

But for Flying M, in the heart of Indian Creek Plaza...

"Have you seen a deep in clients come in?" I wondered.

"For us, yeah, just this most recent Friday typically we would be packed for a few hours in the morning but we saw a huge impact in our numbers this week and last," Tran confirmed.

As I was paying for my own parking today, someone asked me how this worked.

"Is it free for..." they started.

"For 15 [minutes], yeah, for 15," I confirmed.

"And we don't need a ticket," they clarified.

I don't know that for sure."

I learned as I finished paying that you have the option to have a receipt texted to you, but no printed options are available.