Two-hour parking limit on Main: City of Platteville officals speak

Allie Parker, General Staff

The two-hour parking time on Main Street has been a worry for local businesses. Customers may spend longer than two hours in some stores and there is a concern that two hours is not enough time.

Main Street businesses have voiced that they do not think two hours is a sufficient amount of time.

“The Downtown Parking Committee wanted to provide parking primarily for customers of the local businesses. They felt that two hours was sufficient for most customers to conduct business and vacate the spot for another customer. They encouraged employees and tenants to park in long term parking lots and on streets further away from the Downtown business area to ensure there is sufficient parking for customers.” Howard Crofoot, Director of Public Works said.

Some local business owners have tried to change this policy and extend the parking time (read more about this in the Sept. 11 article “Parking limit taking toll on Main Street business owners”, available online).

“A few meetings ago, an owner of a hair salon in the downtown spoke at the Common Council meeting and asked the Common Council to consider extending the time limit from two hours to three hours,” Jack Luedtke, Executive Director of the Platteville Main Street Program and supporter of the extension, said.

“The rationale is that many of the service-oriented businesses have procedures where customers spend more than two hours in their business,” Crofoot said.

The two-hour parking time has been in effect for many years.

“It has been this way for at least the 17 years I have been in this position. During the late 90’s there was a Downtown Parking Committee and I recall that this Committee looked at parking issues and recommended that the two-hour parking remain as is,” Crofoot said.

“The two-hour limit was initially implemented in order to ensure a turnover rate for the parking spots downtown. It was felt that the downtown business patrons would have increased access to prime parking spots close to the businesses they were visiting.” Platteville Chief of Police Doug McKinley said.

Students who live off campus have also been affected by the two-hour parking limit.

“I never park on Main Street because the parking is terrible,” Breana LaDue, senior elementary education major said.

Citizens have a chance to speak their minds on concerns with the parking time this issue. Anyone interested is able to speak his or her mind in front of the Common Council.

“Periodically, it’s a good practice to evaluate your current procedures and ordinances in order to ensure that what you have in place is still meeting the needs of the community. We want the downtown businesses to be successful and if a 3-hr parking time limit improves their ability to serve their customers then we’re all in favor of it,” McKinley said.