Downtown Decorah Betterment Association (DDBA) is taking some new action to improve parking convenience for patrons of all downtown businesses. The most visible action is the posting of new signage on most downtown blocks, intended to serve as a constant reminder to all that the best on-street parking must be left for short-term use of downtown patrons. 

Years ago, the words “customer parking” were painted annually on each parking space to serve as a reminder. For much of the year, this paint was covered up by sand and snow. Sooner than desired, it would simply wear off. It was a burden, a cost to repaint every year, and its visibility was questionable. 

The new signs will be visible permanently and year-round. DDBA’s parking committee developed the idea and design of the signs, and downtown’s SSMID funded their fabrication. The city street department is an important partner on the project as it is mounting the signs. 

Joe Grimstad, chair of DDBA’s parking committee states, “There are no laws that prohibit all-day parking in the streets downtown, nor are we looking to create them. Our goal is to create a ‘culture’ of leaving the best parking for customers. Essentially, that means maximizing awareness among members of the downtown community that parking on Water Street and at least one block off on north-south streets, such as Winnebago, should be left for the short-term, convenient use of customers. The vibrancy of our downtown is dependent on everyone doing their part to contribute to this culture. Convenient access to businesses will support continued patronage.” 

The concern about clutter has been considered in the design of the project. “We have all seen the existing signs that prohibit overnight parking on each block. The new signs will be mounted on the same structures. This method will do well to minimize the added ‘clutter’ of more signs,” states Sarah Iverson of the committee. 

It is often said that a shortage of parking can be a “good thing.” 

Drew Stevenson of the committee states, “All of us who work downtown need to put ourselves in the shoes of customers and understand that convenience is important to them. If there is no parking near their destination, they might go somewhere other than downtown.” 

The question is often asked, “So where should the downtown workforce park?” 

DDBA’s approach to creating this culture is to simply point out parking that should be avoided by workforce. The downtown workforce will be able to identify parking available to them. For example, Day Spring Lane (North Alley) is likely a good option for many. Other parking areas available are: the lot behind the Old Armory Mall, State Street south of Main Street, and Washington Street south of Main Street. 

“Essentially, any area that is not marked with these signs is considered less vital for customers, and is appropriate for all-day use,” states Sarah Iversen of the committee. “We welcome feedback as the signs are posted. Perhaps we overlooked an area that should be reserved as customer parking. We are open to further suggestions.” 

Feedback and ideas can be emailed to committee chair Joe Grimstad at jgrimstad@decorahbank.com. 

 

Years ago, the words “customer parking” were painted annually on each parking space to serve as a reminder. For much of the year, this paint was covered up by sand and snow. Sooner than desired, it would simply wear off. It was a burden, a cost to repaint every year, and its visibility was questionable. 

The new signs will be visible permanently and year-round. DDBA’s parking committee developed the idea and design of the signs, and downtown’s SSMID funded their fabrication. The city street department is an important partner on the project as it is mounting the signs. 

Joe Grimstad, chair of DDBA’s parking committee states, “There are no laws that prohibit all-day parking in the streets downtown, nor are we looking to create them. Our goal is to create a ‘culture’ of leaving the best parking for customers. Essentially, that means maximizing awareness among members of the downtown community that parking on Water Street and at least one block off on north-south streets, such as Winnebago, should be left for the short-term, convenient use of customers. The vibrancy of our downtown is dependent on everyone doing their part to contribute to this culture. Convenient access to businesses will support continued patronage.” 

The concern about clutter has been considered in the design of the project. “We have all seen the existing signs that prohibit overnight parking on each block. The new signs will be mounted on the same structures. This method will do well to minimize the added ‘clutter’ of more signs,” states Sarah Iverson of the committee. 

It is often said that a shortage of parking can be a “good thing.” 

Drew Stevenson of the committee states, “All of us who work downtown need to put ourselves in the shoes of customers and understand that convenience is important to them. If there is no parking near their destination, they might go somewhere other than downtown.” 

The question is often asked, “So where should the downtown workforce park?” 

DDBA’s approach to creating this culture is to simply point out parking that should be avoided by workforce. The downtown workforce will be able to identify parking available to them. For example, Day Spring Lane (North Alley) is likely a good option for many. Other parking areas available are: the lot behind the Old Armory Mall, State Street south of Main Street, and Washington Street south of Main Street. 

“Essentially, any area that is not marked with these signs is considered less vital for customers, and is appropriate for all-day use,” states Sarah Iversen of the committee. “We welcome feedback as the signs are posted. Perhaps we overlooked an area that should be reserved as customer parking. We are open to further suggestions.” 

Feedback and ideas can be emailed to committee chair Joe Grimstad at jgrimstad@decorahbank.com.