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Bozeman parking officials re-evaluate traffic regulations near MSU residential district

By Eric Turcio, Reporter, eturcio@ktvm.com
Published On: Aug 14 2013 05:56:47 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2013 09:46:47 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Bozeman parking officials are taking another look at regulations on the streets around Montana State University.

NBC Montana spoke with Parking Services Manager Scott Lee early Wednesday morning about a proposed increase in parking and traffic fines. Lee told us parking officials are looking at possible fine increases for safety violations. Areas under review are those that create unsafe conditions around corners and cross walks.

We talked with residents who live in neighborhoods within the MSU district Wednesday.

Christine Newmeier told NBC Montana she has lived in Bozeman for years. Newmeier says she lives in the MSU district and works at Irving School just off South 8th Avenue.

"It's unsafe behavior, especially in this neighborhood. This neighborhood has too many cars as it is," said Newmeier.

NBC Montana spoke to many residents in Cooper Park on Wednesday. Newmeier was there with her dogs and told us she has witnessed people parking in places that are not designated parking spots. She says people are always racing back and forth across streets in the area.

Newmeier told us traffic in general is a problem in the area and says the city should do a better job enforcing traffic laws in the MSU district.

"I see a lot more of a problem with people speeding through the 15-mile zone in front of the school,which most of the time goes unnoticed," Newmeier explained.

Hannah Roush was walking her dogs in Cooper Park and told us younger people are often among those ticketed the most.  

"Unfortunately, the parking restrictions tend to hit younger people," said Roush.

Roush told us she thinks the city should reevaluate parking near the intersections and the blind spots that make it unsafe.

"It is stressful, especially with the uncontrolled intersection, if you have blind spots that are created by that," explained Roush.

Many residents we talked to on Wednesday live on streets that require a parking permit. They tell us it's frustrating when people park in front of their homes and do not have a permit.

Nicole Lemon is one of many residents who told us this has become a problem.

"I personally know that's really annoying to have people park in front of my house," said Lemon

Lemon says she does not live far from Cooper Park and in a neighborhood where she needs a permit to park.

She told us permits are expensive and says it's hard to find a spot near her house with all the people parked illegally.

"You have to pay for parking. People just like to park in front of our house, but there's not a lot of parking. It's hard to find a spot if people park illegally," Lemon explained.

Bozeman parking officials expect to have their full report on parking issues in the neighborhoods finalized in the next couple of weeks.