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Adjustments to controversial paid-parking program in store

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Voting on a paid, on-street parking pilot program happens today in La Crosse’s city hall.

The program is back before the Board of Public Works for some tweaks, after loud criticism about the program from college students and administrators.

City council member Gary Padesky is on the board and says nothing has changed with plans to move paid parking forward and he defends the process.

“They’ve already ordered the signs,” Padesky said on WIZM. ‘I guess, as far as parking utility is concerned, and the Board of Public Works, it’s moving ahead.

“The overall authority for that lies with Board of Public Works, and they were given that authority by council before.”

Padesky says more talking won’t change any minds.

“The parking utility feels, ‘It’s a one-year program, let’s try it,'” he said. “A lot of the students who feel they shouldn’t have to pay at all, but then you (people) in that neighborhood that come to their house in the afternoon with a truckload of groceries and then they have to park two blocks away to carry groceries home.”

Paid, on-street parking will take place in neighborhoods around the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Western Technical College.

Students have claimed the city is targeting them as easy marks through the program as a kind of revenue-generating scheme.

An attempt was made earlier this month to block implementation of the pilot but that move has been delayed a couple months.

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