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Parking changes going over well near BSU

BEMIDJI – City officials held a forum Tuesday night to hear feedback from residents about the parking situation near Bemidji State University.

But no citizens came to voice their opinion.

On the bright side, that also meant nobody raised any issues with recent changes in enforcement of parking rules near the congested campus.

“Citizens will always let you know when change needs to be made,” said current Ward 1 Councilor Kevin Waldhausen, whose ward includes BSU and some adjacent neighborhoods. “Since we didn’t hear from any citizens tonight, I can assume things are going fine.”

No-parking zones were painted on curbs and street signs were also erected indicating where people couldn’t park. Two parking officers from the Bemidji Police Department have also been more efficient while patrolling the area.

Those changes came after some city council debate over the summer about how to deal with parking issues in the area.

In the last week of August, 36 cars were ticketed in the area for parking violations. That number was reduced to just three during the week of Nov. 12, according to data provided Police Chief Mike Mastin.

Mastin said some have complained after they got a ticket because the paint on the curb was obscured by snow. But he said the street signs are still being used to enforce the rules.

Waldhausen noted during the brief meeting that there is still a lot of parking congestion, but the area is safer because fewer intersections and alleyways have obstructed views.

“What I’ve noticed is it’s definitely a lot safer,” Waldhausen said.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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