Another change coming to downtown parking ramp

It has been one month since an hourly fee was added to three of the ramps in downtown La Crosse, but complaints about not enough parking has the city looking to make a change.

Since residents started paying to park in downtown ramps, the city has received complaints that it’s been hard to find a parking spot in those ramps. So the city is hoping to make finding a spot to park easier.

Nate Schams works at a downtown business and says on average it only costs him about $5 a week to park in the ramps.

“It’s not all that expensive. It’s a reasonable price,” Schams said.

Since the $0.75 an hour fee was added, Schams said he has noticed fewer spaces in the ramp to park.

“A lot of the people who have private parking used up our spots, therefore we always had to park up on the top or had to try and find a spot in the streets,” Schams said.

“One of the concerns we’ve heard, and it’s a very valid one, is that so many of the rented spaces are on the lower floors, so for visitors coming in they begin to think, ‘Am I ever going to find a space that isn’t rented?'” Audrey Kader, La Crosse city council member, said.

The municipal parking utility board will now make a change to fix the issue. It will begin moving rental spaces to the upper levels of the ramps to make room for drivers paying the hourly fee on the ground floor of the ramp on Main Street.

“Of course you have to let the permits expire before you can move people into the upper levels for the regular rentals,” Kader said.

Schams is happy to hear about the switch.

“Now that there is going to be more hourly parking spots it’s definitely going to be open for more people to park in the ramps and not worry about trying to find parking in the streets,” Schams said.

The parking utility board will start with the Main Street ramp.

Changes will be made as current permits expire.

So far the assistant director of public works said they’ve collected a little more than $8,600 between the three ramps.