BOZEMAN — Parking in downtown Bozeman can be a headache for those who work on Main Street and those who work just blocks away. On Monday night, the Bozeman City Commission will discuss a possible solution, that hopes to ensure a parking spot for both residents and those who work downtown.
Parking is limited for employees working a full shift in downtown Bozeman. Many opt to park a few blocks away in nearby residential neighborhoods.
“If I do have to find a spot, I park three or four blocks down Willson. And then it takes me like 5 or 6 minutes to walk into work,” said Lexi Ryder who works at the Cannery in downtown Bozeman.
“That’s where I find the best parking. It’s pretty much impossible to find parking anywhere else,” she added.
Ryder says parking is so difficult in the summer, she usually just rides her bike.
Earlier this year, the Bozeman City Commission approved a Parking Management District.
“If there comes a day, when there are a lot of people trying to park in neighborhoods, because right now it’s free and unlimited times in those neighborhoods, if neighbors are seeing trouble in front of their house or around the block, we can consider creating a zone which becomes a smaller part of that district, so they’re not overwhelmed with cars,” said Bozeman Mayor Chris Mehl.
In the last meeting about parking, there was pushback from residents in the neighborhoods who didn’t like the idea of having to buy a parking pass.
But the Commission said those zones would only be created if residents felt like there was a problem through a specific process.
And once a zone is established, employees that work downtown could also buy leftover passes, in hopes of easing the congestion.
“We made changes to make it clearer how robust public involvement can be, the right to protest it in your neighborhood, things like that," said Mehl. "So the citizen engagement opportunities have gone up, the notice opportunities have gone up, so that should make it a better bill."
You can join the City Commission meeting at 6 p.m. Monday here: https://cityofbozeman.webex.com/cityofbozeman/onstage/g.php?MTID=e38b5ddada160f57516e00c9181520047