New parking regulations on tap for MSU neighborhood


New parking regulations on tap for MSU neighborhood (07/05/13)

BOZEMAN, Mont. - The stretch of South 8th in between Dickerson and Story is the closest, unrestricted street parking to the north side of MSU's campus. Walk across the street to the west side of South 8th and residents and visitors have to have a permit to park there. It's why residents on the east side of South 8th say they often have a tough time finding parking in front of their own homes.

"That's the biggest misery of living right here is the fact we can't park," says South 8th resident Judy Templeton.

Templeton watches her three-year-old grandson during the day. She's lived on the 500 block of South 8th for two years and says if she leaves in the morning, she often loses her parking spot, forcing Templeton to park blocks away, sometimes, carrying groceries or her grandson.

"He parked in the middle of three places and I asked him to move up please or move back please and he didn't do it and he said this belonged to him as much as anybody," explains Templeton.

According to Bozeman Parking Manager Scott Lee, he does. I sat down with Lee to find out his take on Templeton's complaint. He tells me nearly all of the residents on her block signed a petition for a residential district, leading Lee to conduct a traffic count.

"The ratio of available spaces is very small at any given time of the day," Lee tells me.

A minimum of five out of nine spaces were full outside of school hours and during school hours, sometimes all the spots were full. It's one reason why Lee says the stretch is a logical addition to the district.

"It's a way of life feature that you want to be able to park near your home," says Lee.

If approved, Templeton and the folks on her block would have to buy a residential parking permit for each car. She says, that's fine with her.

"You're okay with paying a fee?" I asked.
"Oh, absolutely. Not a problem," Templeton replied.

South 8th is one of three areas to go before the city commission on Monday.

The other districts up for consideration is the east and west sides of the 800 block of South 3rd.

Folks on the north side of the 900 block of West Babcock, between South 9th and South 10th, want to get rid of their Bozeman High School Residential Parking status.

If approved, changes could go into effect in late August.

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