By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A downtown Wausau business owner is drawing attention to inconsistent parking rules that are often a source of frustration for patrons.
Tyler Vogt, who co-owns Malarkey’s Pub, Townie’s Grill, and the Ugly Mug in downtown Wausau, erected a vintage parking meter outside Malarkey’s with an attention-grabbing offer for parking ticket recipients. “Parking ticket?” the sign reads. “Bring it in, we will give you 1/2 off a drink and mail it for you! We have stamps, envelopes & bartenders!”
Vogt said the offer is a lighthearted way to get the conversation started about ironing out parking rules that vary significantly throughout the downtown area’s 3,700 parking spaces.
“This issue has been the same for more than 15 years,” Vogt said. “It’s hard to know what the rules are if you’re from the area, and if you’re from out of town, it’s even worse.”
For example, parking stalls along much of Third Street are meter-less, with 60-minute limits. Walk a block to the Jefferson Street lot, and you’ll find 70 metered stalls at 20 cents per hour. At Third and McClellan Streets, the cost is 50 cents per hour. The full downtown parking schedule is embedded below.
Also an issue, Vogt said, is that a 60-minute limit can be tough for someone who wants to have a meal, then stop in a downtown store or two.
“On Third Street, there’s no way to stay longer than an hour other than getting in your car and driving it somewhere else,” Vogt said. “And it’s hard to know what the rules are.”
Vogt said he has met with city officials on a number of occasions to discuss the issue. He strongly supports a two-hour daytime parking limit across the board to create a compromise that will allow patrons enough time to enjoy the downtown without camping out in a single spot all day, every day.
“We have 60 minute on some streets, 90 minutes on others, and 15 different parking lots with 14 different rules…seriously,” Vogt wrote in a Facebook post. “Let’s decide on one policy that gets this barrier out of the way.”
Photo: Courtesy of Tyler VogtpkgMay18