Downtown Fort Dodge was built during a time where parking was not provided on private property. In the core downtown nearly all of the historically significant buildings were built to each property line, maximizing building square footage. Parking was on the street. Many other downtowns developed similarly. Fast forward several decades, to a time where parking has now become essential for businesses, so much so that it is provided by private property owners. Owners plan for this and zoning requires some as well. However in the downtown, like many other communities Fort Dodge does not require downtown properties to have private parking. That is why there is a municipal parking system. It is comprised of eight public parking lots, throughout the downtown. Meters and time limits are set on the street to encourage movement of vehicles, keeping parking close to businesses available for customers. This approach shifts the cost for parking directly to its users, which is not the case in other areas of town where parking is "free" (albeit the cost of products likely covers the expense).
Here's how you can help:
Attend an open house:
Tuesday 11 a.m. to noon or 5 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to noon or 2 to 4 p.m.
Open houses will be at the Growth Alliance, 24 N. Ninth St.
Attend joint SSMID-City Council workshop:
Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Workshop will be at City Hall, Council Chambers, 819 First Ave. S.
Complete an on-line survey at www.ssmidfd.com (June 16-30)
Contact the city:
Business Affairs and Community Growth
819 First Ave. S.
Fort Dodge, IA 50501