RAPID CITY S.D. (KEVN TV) - Smart meters. Making it possible to pay with either cards or coins. A concept that seems to make parking downtown easier. But this June when the meters will be installed, some downtown businesses are worried how they could impact shoppers.
"We are not actually going to be smartmetered, we're going to be free parking but we're the first block that's free parking so our concern is that anyone looking to avoid the meters downtown is going to park right in front of our store," says Erin Krueger the co-owner of 5th & Main Furniture by Freed's.
For S&Co Boutique, her business is right out the outside of the metered parking. Like Krueger, the main concern is people parking in front of her store and walking into downtown to avoid paying to park.
"If it's metered parking in the rest of downtown people are going to avoid parking in those metered spots so the next free area is our block and we're kind of a newer developing block and I don't want our growth to be stunted by a bad parking decision," says Sami Dietrich the owner of S&Co Boutique.
The city hired Walker Consultants to take a look at what would be best for downtown Rapid City, a company that is not from South Dakota.
"A group of consultants did that don't know Rapid City like we know Rapid City. We're here everyday, we're pounding the pavement, we are making business happen and we need to be here and be able to do that for years to come." says Krueger.