AS THE DAYS GROW shorter, the nights colder, and the leaves fall from their branches… we come to the realization that winter is bearing down on us. But there’s another sign that’s just as reliable, and that’s the seasonal closing of Frosty Treats.
Yes, it’s a sad day when the boards go up. If you keep a daily journal, this event should make your page, along with a report of the day’s weather. Is it warm and sunny? Or are we experiencing our first snowfall?
Fortunately, here in Marquette, though the cold and snow of the upcoming season is imminent, there’s no reason to hibernate. Our winters have become almost as active as our summers. Hardly a weekend goes by without some event that we can either participate in, or be an interested spectator of.
Still though, the closing of Frosty Treats brings about a bit of melancholy. Summer has come and gone. And now we’re all a year older, with another season of memories. Hopefully they’re good ones.
Put up a Parking Lot
There are a few things in this town that are sure to get the locals riled up. Like brownfield money awarded to well-heeled developers. Or another condo by the lake. Or a new nickname for our high school teams.
Add to the list… parking problems. I did some research and discovered that we’re the only city in the country with parking problems. It’s true. Visit any other metropolitan area, our size or bigger, and you’ll have no problem finding a place to park, wherever you go.
And if you believe that…
Look, I’m not here to shill for the Marquette Downtown Development Authority. They’re the ones who handle parking downtown, including the divisive new parking payment stations, and they’re the frequent target of all the dissatisfied drivers who either want free parking, or are unwilling to adapt to change.
Just to clarify… parking is a challenge wherever you go, unless you go to a town with very few people and even fewer reasons to go there. The price of popularity is more congestion and more frequent parking challenges.
Here’s the deal… the DDA is doing all it can to accommodate our influx of tourists and residents downtown, while bringing in enough revenue to pay the bills. According to DDA Executive Director Tara Laase-McKinney, “Parking revenues collected are all re-invested into our parking system. The DDA maintains seven parking lots and 6.5 miles of sidewalks with adjacent on-street parking. Fees pay for parking space striping, parking lot maintenance, snow plowing contracts, sidewalk clearing, surface repairs, lighting, and cleaning.”
If you take an objective look around our downtown area you’ll notice there isn’t a lot of open space. Options for additional parking are limited.
There have been some recent complaints about the cost of parking, particularly in private lots. I don’t know why I have to point this out, but private lots can do whatever they want. If you don’t like what they’re charging… don’t park there.
Regarding public spots and lots in the immediate downtown area, yeah, you have to pay to park there too, unless it’s after hours or on the weekend. Full disclosure, I’m not a big fan of the new meter system either, but I’m slowly warming up to it. And there’s a payment app, available at the DDA’s website, which makes it a lot easier.
Put it this way… I’m not going to let parking challenges keep me from going downtown. And I’m not going to spend much time complaining about it either. A much worse problem would be if our lots and spaces were always vacant and available. Then there really wouldn’t be a reason to go downtown.