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UW-La Crosse chancellor critical of city’s paid street parking program near campus



No date yet to start charging for parking on the streets near the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus.

There is, however, already concern from many, including UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow in the lack of communication between the city and school.

“We didn’t get any request for input on it,” Gow said. “The city believes we have excess parking on campus, which we certainly do not. So, I’ve been trying to reach the mayor just to talk about that.”

Gow states that the lots are sold out and there is a waiting list of 200 for permits.

Last week, the the city’s Board of Public Works approved a plan to launch a one-year pilot program around UW-L and Western Technical College to test paid street parking. Cost would be $1 per hour with a four-hour max. Those parking would pay by phone through an app or call an 800 number.

Gow says if the idea is to free up more space, it might not to work.

“I’m very concerned that, if the program is implemented,” Gow said, “it will push students and other people that work at the university into the neighborhoods, a little further from camps will there will still be, so called, free parking.”

Mayor Tim Kabat said the program, “is not targeted at students.” He also emphatically stressed, “there is no such thing as free parking” and it “wasn’t a question of if there will be paid street parking, but when.”

Students had already expressed their disagreements with the plan.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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