Parking in downtown Appleton can be a struggle, just ask Lisa Beyer.
"Friday nights, weekends down here in the evening, forget it," says Beyer. "You're not going to get a place to park."
It's a problem city officials are putting big money into, devoting thousands of dollars this fiscal year. Mayor Tim Hanna says with big developments like the library and expo center in the works, the time is right.
"You look at all those moving pieces, and a very important element of that is parking," he says. "This is the time, we need to reshuffle the deck"
A $68,000 contract has been awarded to Walker Parking Consultants, a national firm that will look to maximize parking efficiency.
"This is their specialty," says Hanna. "Parking has changed over the years. We want them to bring their expertise and their experience from around the country, and tell us what works, and what doesn't."
That means new ramps and changes to existing ramps - Along with a re-evaluation of on-street parking. In-progress projects like the library and expo center will play into the study.
"What I expect to see are a lot of options," says Hanna. "If this, than this, kind of scenarios."
The firm will also evaluate how the city manages parking operations, something Beyer is looking forward to.
"Make more meters that are two hours," she suggests. "There are too many that are 30 minutes."
"We're going to take this opportunity to ask them about our whole system," says Hanna. "Hours, meters, collection options, things like that. Now's the time to do it."
Consultants are expected to arrive within two weeks, and the study is projected to be finished by the end of the year.
Copyright Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.