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Residents, businesses plead with City of Waco for more parking options

Downtown Temple Parking
Posted at 7:22 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 23:51:59-05

WACO, Texas — Waco is continuing to grow and businesses in Downtown Waco are popping up left and right, but the boom comes with the need for more parking options.

Reed Flowers has been here for quite some time — over 91 years.

Almost a century in Waco and during that time, owner Debbie Reed's business has changed. But to her, the parking outside has stayed the same.

"I have garage space in the back for my cars but not my customers," Reed said.

Reed said parking in Downtown Waco has always been an issue, and if there is a spot, be prepared to walk.

"They put bike lanes in everywhere so there is no place to park now," Reed said.

Businesses and apartments are popping up left and right — and more people are moving in.

According to the city, the population has grown almost 4 percent in the last year.

Born and raised in Central Texas, Michael Carpenter now works for City Center Waco and said there is plenty of parking downtown, but it could be more convenient.

"The Waco I grew up in is completely different from the Waco we see now," Carpenter said. "You may have to walk a couple of blocks."

In the coming years, we will see more.

"There is with the riverfront project that's going in," Carpenter said. "There's definitely plans for that, but I don't know if it's going to be public. But I know those are definitely going in, but I know there are more plans for more parking to be in downtown."

However, the amount of parking isn't the only concern. Soon, "free parking" could become pricey.

"We did a parking study recently and that was one of the recommendations to have paid parking," Carpenter said.