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Free Parking Ramps At Night, Weekends Great Idea

Parkade Parking Structure

As reported by the Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck’s Downtowners Association is supporting an idea to lift parking fees for the downtown ramps during nights and weekends in an effort to provide a better parking solution for patrons of downtown businesses during these times. While it won’t completely solve downtown’s parking problems, I agree that it would help to offer additional incentive for people to patron downtown.

Lifting ramp fees during certain hours or for certain individuals, such as downtown employees to free up parking for guests, is something that I’ve suggested in the past so I’m happy to hear that others are on the same plane.

I think the only way this would work, however, is if the ramps are completely opened during these time frames without any hassles, such as needing to get vouchers validated. One major reason people don’t use the ramps is the hassle of it – not the cost.

The Parking Authority has already voted against such a proposal in the past because of “unresolved issues”, according to the Bismarck Tribune article. I do agree that there are issues that need addressing before passing the ordinance, such as determining what happens when vehicles are parked longer than during the free parking time frames and a means of tracking such vehicles to determine which of those hours would be exempt from payment under this policy.

In an effort to tackle downtown parking issues, Bismarck recently passed a new parking ordinance that required vehicles not re-park on the same block within the same four-hour span of time, on top of the already in-place ordinance requiring vehicles be moved within 90 minutes.

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