There have been a lot of questions in the Platteville community relating to downtown parking in recent months.
Businesses in our downtown are working together, gathering needed information to assist the City of Platteville with a parking plan and with the hopes to use as a long range plan. Businesses are feeling the pressure of a rush to put a plan through. Platteville has businesses that are land-locked, with a combination of one-way streets.
We need the time to work this plan out to benefit our visitors, residents and customers. We are confident, given the time, a plan would be accepted especially involving partners working in a unified collaboration involving our City, UW–Platteville, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Platteville Main Street Program, and the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce.
The newly formed Downtown Parking Alliance involves business leaders and downtown residents working together to make this plan a reality. It has been exciting to have planned meetings with a collaboration of discussions addressing current concerns and issues that may affect one business or another.
DPA is supportive of UW–Platteville in its efforts to grow the university campus and add to the economy of the community of Platteville. There is no doubt that Platteville is noted to have a fantastic public school system and commendable resources available to our students, businesses, and residents.
UW–Platteville and Platteville schools demonstrate a coordinated partnership that places a defined focus on the outstanding academics and state-of-the-art technology offered. Businesses support programs to enhance and benefit the community and students as well. We realize the economic advantages of being a part of a university community.
DPA is responding to a letter signed by 94 downtown business people, which includes 58 different businesses. The request is to take the time needed to protect our current parking as well as require any future downtown development to supply adequate parking for public needs.
DPA is suggesting that the RDA Downtown Parking Survey continue as it was scheduled. The most important aspect of the public survey is that it would include the entire public in the important decision-making process that is so vital to our downtown community. This information would be beneficial to see what the parking needs are in our downtown.
DPA is also supportive of the City of Platteville and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority in its efforts to encourage economic development and historic preservation in the downtown area. The growth of UWP has been tremendous the past couple of years. There is concern about this surge as it impacts the parking in the downtown area. DPA wants to be a part of the process, and partners, in future developments within the community so the downtown business community thrives and becomes more sustainable. With a well planned parking ordinance, the developers will benefit knowing the downtown community is informed and unified. Development will be looked at with a positive and welcoming economic benefit to downtown knowing ahead of time our valuable asset of parking is protected.
My love for UW–Platteville started 29 years ago when we rented a very small building on Main Street in Platteville for our business. I met my husband as a UWP student and customer. He was going through the ROTC program at that time, so one of the first professors I met was Colonel Wirtz. Colonel Wirtz’s influence will always be a part of our lives. There have been a lot of highlights through the years and with pride we associated, partnered and continue to enjoy a lot of friendships with employees, students, and professors of UW Platteville.
Business leaders throughout our 29 years had a major influence. We bought our current business location from Jack and the late Dorothea Tiedemann. Jack recently stopped in our flower shop to inform me that his passion many years ago was the creation of the downtown parking we currently have. He spent many hours for two years straight to help create and make sure there was adequate parking for the downtown community.
Main Street Platteville is a real gem in Southwest Wisconsin, we are fortunate to be a part of it!
The Community Corner is a weekly column of opinion written by guest columnists UW–Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields; Platteville School District Superintendent Connie Valenza; Chamber Director Kathy Kopp; Main Street Program Director Jack Luedtke; Common Council President Mike Dalecki, Platteville Recreation Coordinator Jordan Burress, State Rep. Travis Tranel, Platteville City Manager Larry Bierke and Police Chief Doug McKinley.