La Crosse, WI -
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The Neighborhood Parking Work Group, a combination of the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Commission and the Municipal Parking Board, wants to change their focus on how to solve residential parking issues in La Crosse.
More than two weeks ago, residents packed the Cartwright Center at UW-La Crosse to voice strong opinions of the parking work group’s proposed changes in city-wide residential parking. The majority of those opinions were negative on the changes which stretched across the city.
The proposal included:
No Overnight Parking without a permit, 11 p.m.-7 a.m. Year-round Alternate Side Parking, 11 p.m.-7 a.m. Two-hour Parking on all city streets, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Two (2) parking permits per home
As part of the “problem solving” phase, the group hosted their final two public sessions on Thursday.
“That first meeting was pretty much what we expected,” Parking Work Group Spokesperson Sara Sullivan said.
One of the meetings was at the Black River Beach Neighborhood Center. It was calm, because residents now understand the Parking Work Group is open to changing their current proposal—to target new rules only to neighborhoods where parking is a problem.
“Year round is probably not necessary for alternate side parking. City-wide is not necessarily a good approach because there are so many neighborhoods that don’t have problems,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said to better identify the problem areas, the work group will talk to specific residents who experience parking issues near their homes. UW-La Crosse Student Association Chief Financial Officer Joshua Gran said because of this, it’s a sign of progress.
“When we look at areas that are more residential and less student, that might be a place to look and make changes,” Gran said.
Gran said he believes the current proposal targets UW-La Crosse students and it could impact nearly 6,000 students who live off of campus. Gran says the best way to prevent potential parking problems is to continue to talk it out.
“We really think if we work together, we could definitely figure something out that is more beneficial to everyone in the area instead of just the select few,” Gran said.
Sullivan said it’s very clear the group needs to “go back to the drawing table,” and only apply overnight, two-hour, and alternate-side parking to specific locales. The only way to find those areas of need is to continue to hear from the public.
Sullivan said the work group will take all comments and refine their proposal, but didn’t specify when a refined proposal could be presented.
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