The alternate-side parking policy still functions as a money grab for the majority of the winter snowfalls like this, proving how the premise behind it fails large portions of the city of La Crosse.
The folks working to remove snow have done an excellent job and they are not part of the problem. Instead, the problem lies with the fact that more than 60 percent of alternate-side parking tickets last winter were given when there was no snowfall.
Let’s face it, we are clearly unable to plow every road in the city between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. during heavy snowfalls, and expecting people to park on those sides of the road every night when there is no snow is only used to make money for the city.
This policy largely affects those who are unable to afford off-street parking, and therefore functions as a regressive tax. It is poor public policy to fine citizens when they are not causing safety issues or inhibiting city function.
Our city needs to move to a snow event system like Eau Claire uses. After a snow event is declared, Eau Claire enforces the same alternate-side parking time period for a 72-hour period. If citizens are unaware of the announcement they can still park on the correct side of the road. La Crosse should follow Eau Claire’s lead, and if we want to raise funds, we should find a legitimate way to do so rather than unnecessarily punishing citizens.
Nick Dutton, La Crosse