Lancaster Council Considers Downtown Parking Passes

Lancaster residents who live downtown may soon have the option of buying a parking pass that would allow them to park their vehicles in the downtown area for an extended period of time without worrying about getting a parking ticket.

The Lancaster Common Council on Monday night reached consensus to have city administration and staff come up with proposals for a parking pass for downtown residents. The consensus also calls for administration to review city parking ordinances for streets and parking lots in the downtown area that may also affect parking for downtown residents.

Third District Alderperson Matt Harper came up with the proposal saying downtown residents are having a difficult time parking their vehicles for a long term.

City Administrator David Carlson said the downtown residents he talked with said, “If you live downtown and work downtown you have to move your car several days of the week to avoid a ticket.” Carlson offered the Wolf Parking Lot on South Monroe Street as the only lot that would be considered for long term parking for downtown residents.

District-1 Alderperson Bob Schmidt said he felt parking ordinances for downtown streets and parking lots are part of the problem because they limit overnight parking.

Police Chief Deb Reukauf agreed saying she would like to see parking enforcement downtown reduced on weekends. But she was also concerned about vehicles being left for several weeks in a municipal parking lot in the winter that would require snow plows to plow around those vehicles.

Harper said he was hopeful that a “happy compromise” could be reached on the issue through the different proposals that will be presented next month.

Fourth District Alderperson Sara Burks said making a parking pass available for downtown residents should be something the council has no issue with, in light of a presentation made to the council last night about making Lancaster an inviting place to live and raise a family.

The parking pass would be optional for downtown residents, and more than likely they would have to pay a fee to get one. Chief Reukauf said there were probably going to be several downtown residents who wouldn’t want the parking pass and would just continue dealing with the current parking issues for downtown residents.