At Monday night's Decorah City Council meeting, it was announced that downtown merchants are upset that many parking spaces downtown are being used by employees, and are therefore not available to shoppers.
Decorah Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristina Wiltgen says, "Parking has been an ongoing conversation with Downtown Decorah Betterment for a long time. In the past DDBA has had 'Customer Parking' painted on the parking lines on Water Street. They have also used brochures or handouts to aid in communicating the value of accessible parking in heavy retail/consumer areas." Wiltgen says from time to time she receives feedback on parking issues, and when she does, she follows up with the business or person directly and ecourages neighborly conversation.
Wiltgen says the Viking Bank construction project on the 300 block of West Water Street is a temporary inconvenience for a long term reward. Fortunately, the construction only eliminates 1 or 2 parking spaces, according to Wiltgen. She suggests the city parking lot next to the Oneota Community Co-op, the Day Spring Lane parking lot and the 400 West Main Street parking lot are great options for employees, as well as on-street parking at least one full block away from any storefront.
"Generally, " says Wiltgen, "my advice is this: if you are parking as an employee or owner in a place that is convenient to you, please consider that it may also be convenient to the consumer."