Additional short-term parking space for delivery and curbside pick-up orders to be added downtown

Due to downtown retailers and restaurants seeing an increased demand for take-out and delivery orders, 10 minute temporary parking spaces have been added throughout downtown Iowa City to assist businesses and customers.


Kate Heston

Iowa City’s mayor Bruce Teague holds the online Iowa City City Council Meeting, broadcasted live on Youtube, on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The meeting covered many topics, ranging from transit updates to police budgeting.

Claire Benson, News Reporter

The Iowa City Transportation Department will implement an additional short-term 10-minute parking space designated for curbside pick-up and delivery after a motion was unanimously passed by the City Council Tuesday night.

With COVID-19 increasing the number of requests for take-out and delivery orders for restaurants and retailers in Iowa City, the downtown district has seen an increased need for designated curbside pick-up and delivery parking space, City Transportation Director Darian Nagle-Gamm said.

As of now, when parking spaces are full along downtown streets, vehicles picking up takeout or delivery orders have resorted to parking in the street at times, displaying their hazards, while collecting their order.

This blockage of downtown streets can be an inconvenience to other drivers and pedestrians.

This designated parking space will be short-term and located on the west side of the 300 block of South Dubuque Street, near the Court Street Transportation Center, Nagle-Gamm said.

The parking space will allow an allotted 10 minutes for the driver to pick up their order, looking to ensure an adequate turnover and maximum utilization of the space.

“As we’ve adapted to more curbside pickup in the downtown area, we need to update our code to reflect those new standards which will allow us to enforce those regulations so this ordinance will allow us to force those delivery pick-up, curbside pickup areas in the downtown,” City Manager Geoff Fruin said.

These parking spaces were introduced to the downtown area during the pandemic and will continue to remain designated spaces as long as there is a need for them, Nagle-Gamm said.

Nagle-Gamm said she is unsure whether these temporary spaces will remain after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

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Since COVID-19 has been in Iowa City, Nagle-Gamm said there has been a decrease in parking downtown, which has, in turn, decreased the revenue collected from parking meters.

Nagle-Gamm said there is a slight financial disadvantage to introducing these short-term parking spaces for delivery and curbside pick-up, due to one less spot using a parking meter and generating revenue for the city.

However, she said in a normal fiscal year where there is more of a demand for parking, there would be more of a financial impact on the city compared to the current year.

“Parking demand has decreased this last year with the pandemic significantly,” Nagle-Gamm said. “It’s not something we’re accustomed to. We’re accustomed to being in a pinch at all times for additional parking downtown or there being a greater demand for parking downtown.”

City Councilor Pauline Taylor said she has used several of these designated parking spaces before and thinks they have been a beneficial addition to the downtown area.

“I’ve used these parking places many times for a lot of these downtown businesses, and I think it’s a great idea and it’s helpful to these businesses for people to stop there and order food items,” Taylor said.