The city of Olympia plans to offer free parking starting Wednesday through the end of February in an effort to bring people downtown after last week’s snowstorm.
The free parking only applies to purple meters in downtown Olympia that are good for two hours and green meters that are good for three hours. The nine-hour gray meters will not be free.
Even at the free meters, the two- or three-hour limits will still be enforced.
Downtown businesses — along with schools, government offices, even the public transit system — shut down last week because of heavy snow and power outages. Many people chose to stay home while roads went unplowed, which was bad news for shops and restaurants heading into the Valentine’s Day holiday.
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“The goal of the February complimentary parking is to celebrate the Big Melt and encourage people to come downtown to visit, shop, dine and explore,” the city’s parking announcement read.
Thursday is the Olympia Downtown Alliance’s Third Thursday event, when businesses offer special deals, customers can play a game to win prizes, and musicians play on downtown streets.