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Free parking hopes to bring holiday boost to West 7th Urban Village

The Fort Worth City Council approved a plan to give shoppers two free hours of daytime parking. Businesses hope it’ll bring a boost just in time for the holidays.

FORT WORTH, Texas — A new plan to give customers two hours of free daytime parking at West 7th Urban Village hopes to bring a business boost just in time for the holidays.

The Fort Worth City Council unanimously approved a new rate structure at Tuesday's council meeting. Customers can park for free for two hours between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The change goes into effect Friday. It applies to street parking from Lancaster Avenue up to West 6th Street and from Foch Street to University Drive.

RELATED: Fort Worth leaders consider reducing parking meter fees after complaints

“I am super excited about it,” said Misty Burdain general manager of the Food Hall on Crockett Row. “I think that it’s going to create a lot more buzz around this area.”

She oversees the space that’s home to about a dozen small business startups, like Abe Froman’s Scratch Pizza and Calzones. 

“It gets scary sometimes,” said owner Victor Villareal about starting a business. “The biggest thing that I can say that I’ve learned is how to count my pennies.”

The tall order of keeping a business running has been even more difficult because some customers avoided the area’s parking meters, Burdain said.

“They just leave and they go somewhere else where they don’t have to worry about paying for parking,” Burdain said.

Now she and Villareal hope some of those same potential customers will come back because of the free parking.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Villareal said. “Free parking is always a good thing in Fort Worth.

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