The fight for free parking: Coeur d’Alene city council hears public remarks

Coeur d’Alene city council members heard remarks on Tuesday from community members, outraged at a recent change to public parking fees at McEuen Park.

Up until this spring, parking at McEuen Park was free for the first two hours. The City recently changed that and now charges one dollar an hour to park in those spots.

“I don’t think citizens should have to pay to visit public property,” said Keith Boe.

The fight to restore free two-hour parking at McEuen Park rages on. Coeur d’Alene city council members are getting an earful from locals. #4NewsNow

— Kyle Simchuk (@KyleKXLY) July 17, 2019

City Administrator Troy Tymesen said many people who use the park are from out of town and the revenue helps pay for park maintenance. He reminded Tuesday’s crowd that there is still plenty of free, two-hour parking options downtown — more than 1300 spaces to be exact.

Council member Dan Gookin said based on growing public concerns he would be open to reexamining the fees.

“I don’t think the public is happy with it and I think I would be in favor of reviewing the parking fee situation,” Gookin said.

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer agreed.

“We are never going to hit it perfect, and we are never going to make everyone happy — it doesn’t mean that we can’t keep trying and I think we can — we’re going to look at it,” Widmyer said.