Crowded Tosa Village parking lots, streets prompt sign changes

WAUWATOSA -- You'll find plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to visit in the Wauwatosa Village, but some people think what you won't  find is enough parking.

\"I don't like driving through this parking lot three or four times,\" resident Evan Stempski said.  \"Then you have to circle the block a couple of  times.\"

Stempski tries to bypass the issue by riding his bike to the village when he can.  He notices plenty of  frustrated drivers.

\"I think most people want to have a parking spot right in front of where they're going, but that's not always the  case,\" Stempski said.

Some restaurants say customers who can't find a spot sometimes will cancel reservations.  But village leaders see the high traffic level as mainly a good thing.

\"If it's a problem it's due to success,\" Village Improvement District Executive Director Jim Plaisted said.

Plaisted says the city has nearly 400 off-street parking spots.

\"If you or I come down on a Friday or Saturday night at peak dining or  entertainment hours, we would find available parking,\" Plaisted said.

Plaisted stresses it's just a matter of locating those spots.  That's where the village's way finding plan comes in.   They'd like to replace the old parking signs with a universally recognizable blue 'P'.

\"Once we get them to parking spots, I think they're OK walking maybe two blocks to their destination, as long as their experience is a good one,\" Plaisted said.

But some shoppers still aren't convinced new signs alone will fix the issue.

 \"I'm so glad to see everyone's down here and there's business,\" shopper Sarah Otto said.  \"It's just that the parking isn't supplying all the people down here.\"

\"As long as you're willing you might have to walk a block, but there is parking,\" Stempski said.


The plans for the new signs are still in the works, but the city hopes to get them approved and work to install them sometime in 2014.

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