CARBONDALE -- The piled-up snow in Carbondale is the reason you could park for free Friday in The Pioneer City.
Carbondale DPW crews needed a few trips with a dump truck just to start hauling away snow from the side of Main Street. A layer of dirt shows the snow has lingered. So, as a way to say sorry for the inconvenience, city officials decided to make parking free for one day downtown.
"I know the city's been trying to haul the snow away to get it cleared as quickly as possible but to be able to haul the snow away on a weekday when they normally have to pay, I think it's a fabulous idea," said Donna Zaremba.
Zaremba runs a jewelry store just off Main Street and she said business has been slow this month. Because of the weather, and because it's sometimes so hard to find a snow-free spot customers have said it's not worth their time to come downtown.
People who park downtown all the time said if you can get in a spot. That's difficult enough. But trying to get over the snow bank and pay the parking meter. That's been tough too.
Kathy Hamil of Forest City parks in downtown Carbondale often and she thought free parking was a worthy consolation prize.
"It's been crazy, you can't even get to the meters when you do have to put money in them because of all the snow," Hamil said.
Employees at Pinky's Restaurant on Main Street said the parking problems hurt business there too. Customers who did make the trip said whether it's hauled away or melts they hope the snow is gone soon.
"It's not been fun, but I don't think its been fun for anybody in the area, really. Everyone's been having the problem where to put the snow and I guess Carbondale has the same problem," said Madolyn Dempsey.
Carbondale DPW crews said they will spend the rest of the weekend hauling away the rest of the snow.