Free of fee? Carbondale city council discusses parking

By Jacob Lorenz, Staff Reporter

Carbondale’s City Council discussed the future of downtown parking after the trial period for free parking ended Jan. 1.

The main focus of the meeting was on a proposed parking pass that could be given to those who work on the Strip. 

The council decided to revert back to paid parking after they said the downtown area did not see an increase in customers when parking was free.


The council discussed a plan to give employees a parking pass of $5 a month and residents $25 a year.

Rachel Cristaudo, owner of Cristaudo’s bakery, said paying for parking has been a huge burden for her staff. 

“When people are constantly getting tickets and boots and having to run in and out, it’s kind of created a little bit of chaos, at times,” Cristaudo said.

Carbondale mayor Mike Henry said many businesses near the Evolve apartment complex had their parking spaces totally consumed during the free parking period.

“They had people walking three or four blocks to get to their business because the Evolve folks came into the free parking in the city lot,” Henry said. “That’s one of the issues of free parking.”

Henry then addressed the issue of parking boots.

“The talk about a boot on your car has been mentioned several times tonight; you have to really have several tickets before you get a boot on your car,” Henry said. “So if you’re a deadbeat yeah you’re going to get [a boot].”


After Henry said this, members of the crowd began heckling him.

“That’s what a boot is for,” Henry said. “You haven’t paid your traffic tickets.” 

Carbondale resident Nick Smaligo took personal offense to the comment and said people make mistakes.

Henry interjected and said his comment was a joke. 

“You just insult people?” Smaligo said. “I mean what’s wrong with you? I don’t need to be called a deadbeat by you, man, we all know what you do.” 

Smaligo then attempted to take the floor from Henry and said he insults people and brought up the Mayor’s election night news story.

(See more: Police respond to disturbance at mayor’s house Sunday night)

While parking was discussed, it was not voted on. 

The council also recognized Jan. 16 as Zeta Phi Beta Day in Carbondale. January 16 will be the sorority’s 100 year anniversary. The sorority has been at SIU since 1971. 

Zenetta McDaniel Coleman, a member who joined in 1988, said that they’re different from most sororities as they continue to serve their sorority through their graduate chapter.

Staff reporter Jacob Lorenz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jtlorenz6.

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