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As I See It

Another expensive parking study

Scott Robert Shaw

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Did we really get our money’s worth from this study? The city of La Crosse commissioned a study of parking by the company Rich and Associates. It cost taxpayers $100,000, just five years after a similar study was completed by the same company. The report is certainly voluminous. It weighs in at more than 300 pages. But it doesn’t seem to tell us a lot we didn’t already know. For example, the report finds that all these downtown parking ramps the city built are rarely full, but because people prefer to park on the street near the business they are patronizing, people perceive La Crosse has a parking problem. The report also finds that the city’s recently adopted plan to charge people to park on the street near campus neighborhoods isn’t working all that well. Instead of downloading the app and paying a couple bucks, drivers are simply parking slightly farther away, where street parking is free. Yet the consultants recommend expanding, not ending this paid parking program, even though it isn’t working. They also recommend making the city’s parking rules even more draconian by adopting new rules preventing people who park downtown in a two-hour zone from re-parking on any other downtown street any time that same day. It doesn’t seem that would be good for business. And it sure doesn’t seem La Crosse taxpayers got their money’s worth from this pricey study.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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