Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Parking in Missoula has been a hot-button topic for quite some time and most residents have an opinion on how things should be done. As a result, the City of Missoula wants to hear your feedback. The leadership of the City of Missoula’s Parking Commission, with help from a consultant, is evaluating parking programs and options that can better support the people who live, work, and play all around Missoula. 

“We are going to be taking a look at our current operations, our programs, and working with Walker consultants,” said Ortlieb. “We are going to gather some recommendations for improvement and changes. So basically, optimization of the parking system.” 

The City of Missoula invites the public to help take a deep look at parking management and to share their ideas. 

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“We are taking a look at our current operations as well as expansion of our jurisdiction and the possibility of that,” said Ortlieb. “Coming up next week we have three separate meetings. One is being held over at the University of Montana campus in the ballroom that will focus on the university district and hip strip area. We have another at Break Espresso on the 16th at 8:00 a.m. that will focus on downtown. Then later on that day on the 16th, we will be meeting at the MRL Park to discuss Midtown.” 

Ortlieb said the goal is to create a community vision for successful parking management today and into the future. 

“These are visioning meetings,” Ortlieb said. “They are really to take a look at, and open the door, for idea generation. Also, to allow folks to really share with us the problem areas and issues that they encounter all the time and really build that into the parking plan. Any solutions, yes, that way we can build some solutions to that.” 

If you’re having trouble finding parking downtown at night, Ortlieb has some solutions. 

 “If you're coming in after 5:00 p.m., in the current state of the parking program, payment is not required and the on-street parking tends to fill up, but our off-street parking locations are open,” Ortlieb said. “Our garages and our leased parking lots that require permits become public use. I would recommend utilizing any of our parking structures." 

The public can find more information and participate online here. 

Here is the official upcoming schedule for the three public visioning sessions:

Hip Strip & University District: Wednesday, March 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., University Center Ballroom, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive

Downtown: Thursday, March 16, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Break Espresso, 432 N. Higgins Ave.

Midtown: Thursday, March 16, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Montana Rail Link Park, 2110 S. Johnson St.

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