Major changes proposed for city parking - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Major changes proposed for city parking

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) -A La Crosse committee is recommending a number of significant changes to the way people park on the streets of the city.

The La Crosse Neighborhood Revitalization committee released Friday an outline of their proposals to the city. According to Sara Sullivan with the La Crosse Neighborhood Revitalization Committee, they have been working on the proposal for three to four months. The group worked with the Municipal Parking Utility Board, City Council, and Mayor's Office to study residential parking issues. The committee said that the changes would be citywide.  Their goal, with the exception of downtown business parking, is to lower the amount of commuter parking in residential areas in the city.

Sullivan also said "There's become a density of parking in these neighborhoods that doesn't seem to be good, and neighbors have been bringing this to the attention of the city of La Crosse for about 10 or 12 years now."

Based on their studies, they made the following proposals:

-No overnight parking (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) on city streets without a residential parking permit.

-Year round alternate side parking from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. This eliminates parking availability in La Crosse neighborhoods for individuals who are not residents of that neighborhood. It also accommodates year-round street sweeping/cleaning as well as plowing snow during the winter. Alternate side parking allows better emergency access to neighborhoods during nighttime hours.

-All city streets will be zoned “2-hr parking” between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Fines for parking violations will be increased from $12.00 to $30.00 for a tier one violation. The combination of 2-hour parking and increased fines discourages long-term commuter parking in neighborhoods.

-Contractor permits will be available to allow for parking in neighborhoods on a case-by-case basis.

-Two (2) parking permits per residential parcel will be issued free of charge. Permits will be valid only for the city block upon which that parcel is located. A third (3rd) permit will be offered at a cost of $50.00/year. No parcel shall be issued more than three (3) permits.

The public has the opportunity to offer their opinion on these proposals at three public hearings. The dates and times are:

-Tuesday, May 13 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the UW-L Cartwright Center
-Tuesday, May 20 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Black River Beach Neighborhood Center
-Thursday, May 29 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Southside Neighborhood Center.

Sullivan said she won't be surprised if a lot of people are opposed to these changes and she said that "They'll be a lot of people that say 'this is a hassle, a nuisance, I don't want to do that' and I think we're going to have to say back to them most of us don't like all the laws but we do our best to follow them so we have to figure out how to unroll this so that it will be enforceable, but there has to be some changes to our neighborhood streets."

Audrey Kader with the Municipal Parking Utility Board agreed, "There will be a lot of feathers ruffled, no question about it, my only hope is that people will really pay attention at the front end and so we can take care of their concerns and try and deal with them."

The plan calls for the proposals to be phased in and they still need to write up legislation to be passed by the City Council.  The first part of the city affected is outlined on this map.

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