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Published March 17, 2011, 08:42 PM

Persistent Problems: Looking for Downtown GF Parking Solutions

Lack of parking spaces, parking tickets, and the parking ramp are all hot topics as Grand Forks looks at ways to improve downtown parking. On Thursday, members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization met with community members to ask what changes they would like to see.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Lack of parking spaces, parking tickets, and the parking ramp are all hot topics as Grand Forks looks at ways to improve downtown parking.

On Thursday, members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization met with community members to ask what changes they would like to see.

One of those affected by parking, Aften Miller, has been bartending at Bonzer's sandwich pub in downtown Grand Forks for about six years. She and co-workers tried to use the nearby two-hour parking spots, but never quite timed things out right.

"We try it but we always get ticketed," Miller said

Miller now parks in the ramp behind the bar. Problem solved? Not for everybody. That is why the city has asked the MPO to look at how things can be better.

Kim Holmes is the owner of Sanders restaurant. He wonders if better use could be made of parking ramps, many of which have lower level spots that have 24-hour restrictions.

"You can't get in there during the day. And then it's buck naked during the night. Just like the rest of the parking ramps downtown," Holmes said.

Meanwhile back at Bonzer's, Miller says at bar closing time, there are those that don't want to leave their cars downtown.

"For a lot of my friends that is a problem, and to me it encourages drinking and driving because people don't want to pay for a $20 ticket the next morning," Miller said.

The MPO says over the next few months they will look at the methods people and businesses pay for parking, both on the streets and in the three downtown ramps.

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