Downtown Cedar Rapids has been a real mess this summer. It seems like everyday there is a new construction project with a road closed and less parking spots. It's already hard to find parking in downtown, and now there are even fewer spots!

And to make matters worse, construction companies are paying to hood meters. The hoods stay up for weeks, and they don't take them down over the weekends. So people see the hoods and are scared to park there, even though parking is free on the weekends.

I've seen the hooded meters used for cranes and forklifts, but most of the time these reserved spots are used for management to park their personal work vehicles. It needs to stop, we have enough parking problems in downtown Cedar Rapids, and we don't need anymore.

The biggest complaint when visiting downtown is the lack of parking. Local downtown businesses suffer because of the limited spaces. People get tired of driving around looking for parking, and end up just leaving to another part of town to spend their money.

So I'll ask this of Park Cedar Rapids: Don't allow these construction companies to hood meters for more than a few hours at a time. Remove the hoods so the rest of us can share the little parking there is in downtown Cedar Rapids.

I know it may not seem like a big deal, but several businesses have reached out to me and they're frustrated.  It's been a long summer, and everyone is ready for downtown Cedar Rapids to get back to normal.