The Muscatine City Council held their monthly in-depth meeting on December 14. The main topic of discussion was the review of 2nd Street parking limit changes.

The new parking limit rules in downtown Muscatine have been in effect for a little over a month. The rules changed from free parking up to 3 hours once per day in each space to free parking up to 2 hours once per day in each block.

Nancy Lueck, Finance Director, presented to the council the findings from the first few weeks. Signs with new parking restrictions were posted during the week of October 30 – November 3. Flyers were distributed by meter attendants to all 2nd Street businesses and placed on all vehicles on 2nd Street on November 3. For the first week, warnings were given to the violators.

The week of November 13-17, 31 tickets were issued. During the three-business-day week of Thanksgiving, there were 10 tickets issued. The week of November 27 through December 12, 24 tickets were issued, and the week of December 4-8, 18 tickets were issued.

Lueck said, “While there appears to be a trend with decreasing tickets, this time period is very short to fully evaluate whether there is a trend in increased compliance.”

In addition, the meter attendants are not soliciting feedback, but “they noted that several business owners commented that they are seeing more spaces available for their customers.”

One downtown business owner said to the council that he was seeing a faster turnover of parking spaces and increased traffic flow since the changes have been implemented.

Lueck said staff suggests “a longer time period would be needed to fully evaluate the impact of this change to businesses on 2nd Street.”

Regarding a few complaints, Gregg Mandsager mentioned that downtown has “140 ten-hour meters and several 15-minute loading zone spots.”

The council decided to review the longer-term effects of the changes at a later meeting.

The full agenda and recorded meeting can be viewed at muscatineiowa.gov.