If you're planning to pick up a takeout order from a restaurant in Downtown Boise, it might not be easy to whip in and whip out starting today.

When the pandemic first hit and restrictions closed much of Downtown Boise, the streets were empty and it looked more like a ghost town than a thriving hub full of innovative entrepreneurs and great food.  With bare streets, it was easy to find a parking spot back then, except you didn't need one because you were at a home in your PJs trying to figure out Zoom school and which coffee table to use for a home office, and the businesses you wanted to visit were closed anyway.

When things gradually started to open up, the City of Boise converted some of its metered parking spots into spaces for restaurant pickup to make curbside delivery a cinch, and you were in and out in no time, on your way home with your Funky Tacos.

But now, as more downtown businesses reopen and the demand for parking increases, the city says on its website that starting today, (Monday, May 17th), they'll be reverting the “restaurant pickup” spots back to standard metered parking.

Picking up some beer cheese pretzels at Bittercreek Alehouse or some veggies and a lobster roll from Wild Root Cafe might still be quick and easy, and you won't have to pay if it's a quick stop.  Parking will still be free for restaurant pickups even at metered spots, but since there will be no designated restaurant parking, there's a risk that a spot near the restaurant won't be available.

The city said the "first 20 minutes per parking session on all metered parking spaces will continue to be free by pressing any button on the meter. After 20 minutes, meters accept payment using coins, credit cards, Downtown Boise Association gift cards or the Parkmobile App."

There are more people downtown now that things are opening up, and that means you might hit a snag during peak hours if all the metered spots are taken.  Something tells me though that the restaurants will adjust, because, well, they've gotten really good at making lemonade during the past year, and what's one more little pivot.

For more information on parking in the City of Boise go to Cityofboise.org.

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