Efforts to Improve Parking in Downtown Rockford

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Going to an Icehogs game or any other downtown event appears to be a challenge for some drivers. Some say, they're struggling to find a place to park without getting a ticket.

When Rob Bosecker works the night shift at his job in downtown Rockford, he says finding a parking spot isn't a big problem. However, during the day he thinks it’s a different story.

“There are a couple spots where you can usually park all day for free but I’m just like the rest of ‘em, if I’m there too long, I get a ticket,” says Bosecker.

The city's five downtown parking decks have a mix of permit only spots as well as public parking. All of it is managed by the company ABM Parking Services. The group was hired by the city in January, and some downtown neighbors say the transition has been confusing.

“We have instances of people parking in a three hour lot and are ticketed before the three hours are up, we know of one car that was towed, these are the stories we here, that enforcement is aggressive," says Don Bissell. He’s part of a committee that’s working on ways to improve downtown parking.

The city says enforcement hasn't changed since ABM took over, and the number of tickets handed out is the same as last year. There are plans to put up signs in downtown to help drivers find a parking lot, and how much it'll cost.

"I think it's important to have a welcoming, well-marked amenity that will satisfy both residents and visitors," says Bissell.

Parking tickets are $20 if you pay them in the first 30 days. The money goes back into maintaining the city's lots and garages.

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