Downtown visitors say there is adequate parking available
A recently completed study found little evidence to suggest that parking in downtown Hudson has become more difficult.
Ninety-six percent of visitors to the downtown interviewed over three days last August reported being satisfied with how close their parking spot was to their destination, David Trechter, head of the Survey Research Center at UW-River Falls, told the City Council Monday night.
The council commissioned the research center to conduct the study as a follow-up to a 2001 study. Council members wanted to know if it truly is harder to find a place to park before undertaking expensive construction to provide more parking spaces.
Trechter and Jim Janke, UW-Extension resource agent for St. Croix County, provided a summary of the report they authored to the Hudson City Council.
Asked what the biggest surprise to come out of the study was, Trechter said it was the percentage of people who reported being satisfied with the availability of parking downtown. The number was an improvement by several percentage points compared to the 2001 survey.
Mayor Jack Breault and Council President Scot O'Malley said they thought the construction of additional parking spaces on the west side of First Street had improved the situation.
Trechter agreed, saying there is a high level of awareness of the new spaces, and they are well used.
Reports also cited the following as evidence that parking downtown hasn't gotten more difficult:
Business owners and managers continue to view parking downtown as more difficult than the general public views it, the report says.
Trechter said that makes sense because business people have a financial stake in the availability of parking.
The council referred the report to its Public Safety Committee for further analysis.
Randy Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.