Downtown Carbondale parking could soon be free - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Downtown Carbondale parking could soon be free

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Leaders in Carbondale discussed the possibility of making parking downtown free. 

After a test run for businesses and employees during the holiday season, council members want to try it for the entire community. 

The free holiday parking program has been around for many years and allows residents to park for free during the holiday season for up to two hours. 

During this past holiday season, the city expanded the program by providing free parking passes to downtown employees to allow them to park for longer than the two hour limit. 

Last August, a resident submitted a petition to the council asking members to provide free employee parking passes to people who work downtown.

More than 450 people signed the petition.

According to city documents, there are 1,259 total metered spaces located in downtown.

The city has estimated that in fiscal year 2020, they would generate $173,500 in meter, permit and ticket revenue. 

In that budget, the city also allotted that to maintain the parking lots would cost around $106,000.

The revenues generated from meters, permits, and fines, pay for maintaining the lots and for future public parking lots. 

The council hopes to decide next month if they'll do a trail run of free parking and if so, for how long. 

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