The parking ramps in downtown La Crosse are no longer free to use. The city put the gate arms back up after taking them down five months ago, and as FOX 25/48’s Erin O’Brien explains, the city is also raising the rates to park.
The gates are back but not much else has changed.
The La Crosse parking utility board and parking coordinator Jim Flottmeyer have been exploring new parking systems over the last several months but today they went back to the old system.
“You have to either have an access card to get in and pull a ticket or pay on your way out.”
The only difference is the price.
Before the gate arms were taken down the first time, parking was free for the first three hours and then 75 cents an hour after that. This time parking is still free for the first three hours but they’re raising it a quarter to a dollar an hour after that.
The city chose to take down the gates last February after seeing an alarming, and expensive, amount of vandalism. Now, the gates are made out of pine wood so that they’ll be cheaper to replace, but the city still plans to crack down on vandals.
“The exit gates will go up on Friday night and they’ll stay up until Monday morning so we’re hoping that helps, I don’t know if you’re ever going to stop it but we’re really hoping to alleviate it. And if we catch somebody vandalizing it they’re going to be in big trouble.”
Flottmeyer also estimates that the city missed out on about seven to ten thousand dollars each month that the gates were down but he says the focus was on the future.
“It wasn’t about the revenue, it was about trying to fix it and make it better.”
Parking will still be free on the weekends, overnight, and on holidays.
In La Crosse, Erin O’Brien, FOX 25/48 News at 9.
The parking utility board plans to continue exploring new parking systems for the downtown ramps.