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Downtown Bozeman paid parking no longer in the works

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Jan 25, 2023

BOZEMAN — The city of Bozeman has been researching the idea of paid parking heavily for the last year. Tuesday night, that changed, after the city put a pause on paid parking.

“I would park in the parking garage, which was about like two blocks away and especially when I worked at night is I didn't want to be walking all that way,” said Downtown Employee, Sarah Rodriguez.

Rodriguez works downtown and because of the two-hour limit on parking, she says she always moves her car around the area.

“It can be a little bit difficult sometimes, especially during the week and especially during the summer,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez and many other employees downtown say paying for parking is the last thing they wanted.

“Last night's decision stopped the discussion on paid on-street parking, period,” said Bozeman Economic Development Program Manager, Mike Veselik.

Following a work session about moving paid parking forward, Deputy Mayor Cunningham and Commissioners Pomeroy and Madgic raised concerns about the impact on downtown businesses.

“Three commissioners who voted to put a stop to it because they were concerned with the current business climate in downtown Bozeman,” said Veselik.

Following months of debate and with paid parking now off the table. What happens next?

“The city is taking all the input we received under consideration about where to go for the next steps, but the city commission last night did not provide additional direction on where city staff should go in terms of supply and demand and managing the parking system downtown,” said Veselik.

The city says they still don’t have a clear path as to what will happen moving forward, but paid parking downtown is not something Bozeman residents will see soon.