Citizen Wausau

A Site About Life in Wausau, Wisconsin

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Free Parking?

by on February 1st, 2008

I love the library. I visit several times a week, sometimes to drop off or pick up items, sometimes for a book club meeting, sometimes with my toddler so he can enjoy story time or the play area. Wausau has an awesome library, staff and interlibrary loan offerings.

The parking lot is what really puts a damper on the library visits. My understanding is that a drive-thru window is being constructed at the lower level, which will hopefully reduce the parking issues. In the mean time, I have grown frustrated at what appears to be overuse or unfair parking in the lot.

After receiving my first parking ticket (in all honesty, I was not parked in a legit spot and have sent in my ticket with payment), I have become even more disgruntled. This incident involved me circling the lot twice shortly after 5 pm on a Tuesday, then leaving to pick up my toddler from day-care instead with the intent to stop back at the library later. After returning to the library around 5:20 and circling the lot a few more times, I parked in front of the bike racks and ran inside with my son to return two books and pick up a DVD while my car was running. Right? No. But it is simply not practical for me to park in a lot across the street and cart my toddler over my 5-months pregnant belly through a busy street in frigid temperatures simply to return books. Or park in the lot below and hike up and down a hill. So, reasonable? Definitely. I came out of the library minutes later to find a ticket on my windshield (and one on the car parked illegally next to me).

This prompts some questions. Mainly, why is this lot constantly packed? It’s like this when I try going at different times also. Are these valid library patrons or are these people who work in an office nearby? Do they monitor the other cars parked there? The parking spots designated as 15-minute drop-off/pick-up spots were all full with engines off and nobody sitting in the cars. There’s a sign stating that the limit for parking in the lot is two hours. The person who ticketed me was not there nearly long enough to enforce either of these rules, only to ticket the short-term offenders. Is this fair? Will the drive-thru window option alleviate these problems?

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