San Antonio City Council members said they think they've come up with a way to generate more traffic from locals to the downtown area.
"Downtown Tuesday" is the new program they’re promoting by offering free parking at city lots, garages and meters.
The program starts next Tuesday on Valentine’s Day.
City parking will be free after 5 p.m. every Tuesday after that.
"To see the city step up, so to speak, because they’re obviously going to lose revenue on giving away free parking on Tuesday night? That’s a great thing,” said John Carbajal of Rio Rio Cantina on the Riverwalk.
Businesses have been trying to get the local crowd but have had to overcome the stigma of parking hassles. Carbajal said the restaurants have been offering specials to do their part.
“The tourists are going to be here anyway, but it’s the locals who are going to benefit from the free Tuesdays every week,” said Councilman Diego Bernal.
Business owners said the only locals they see on a regular basis are the ones who work downtown or who come downtown for larger special events.