Mack: Watertown  doesn’t have a parking problem, it has a “walking problem”  (Audio)

February 14, 2023
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KWAT)–The city of Watertown could do away with the idea of offering downtown businesses, “preferred curbside parking spaces” for their customers.

Right now, there are five businesses who’ve received council permission to offer those spaces, but at a council work session Monday, there was plenty of talk about stopping the practice of offering them.

City Manager Amanda Mack says Watertown does not have a parking problem downtown, but it does have a, “walking problem.” In other words, open parking spaces, but people who aren’t interested in having to walk a half block or more to get to a particular business…

There are 10 city-owned parking lots in the downtown area, and Police Chief Tim Toomey says they’re terribly under-utilized. They surveyed the use of them last summer….

The council also talked about a downtown-wide parking ban on city streets during the overnight hours, thus making it easier for the Street Department to do snow removal in the winter, and street sweeping in the summer.

No action was taken, but that could happen at an upcoming council meeting.