HDA planning parking survey

The Hollister Downtown Association says it thinks business
employees may be hogging all the spaces that should be left open
for local shoppers, and they’re looking to remedy the problem
starting with a parking survey.
Hollister – The Hollister Downtown Association says it thinks business employees may be hogging all the spaces that should be left open for local shoppers, and they’re looking to remedy the problem starting with a parking survey.

“Sometimes it’s a problem, sometimes it’s not,” said Rick Maddux, owner of Maddux Jewelry and the economic restructuring chair for the HDA. “We have more of a problem in the big parking lot behind the store (than in the street); it’s mostly employers and employees. We’ve got to try to convince the business people to park elsewhere and leave the parking for the customers.”

The HDA is currently putting together a survey for downtown businesses to find out what can be done to make their stores more accessible to shoppers, according to Maddux. The questions should be compiled some time in February, after which the HDA will try to hit every business in the area for input, he said.

“We’re going to see what the need is downtown; see where business people park and where their customers park,” said Liz Sparling, executive director of the HDA. “Historically, Hollister’s always had a problem with parking. Before the sidewalk improvement project started, we had some problems with people not obeying the two-hour rule. The parking enforcement officer went away for part of the project and now they’re starting to think about bringing her back.”

The parking enforcement officer was let go in June when the city faced a leaner-than-expected budget and the possibility of 36 layoffs.

Maddux said the Downtown Association doesn’t have any specific plans yet concerning a project timeline or a specific ultimate goal, but said the survey would help the HDA determine what would best serve the local businesses.

“Parking in this city in my experience – and that’s a long time – is that you’re never going to please everybody,” Maddux said.

He also mentioned he might like to see the revival of the parking enforcement officer position.

“If you’re going to have it, you have to have it all day every day, so the people parking there know the officers are going to be there,” he said.

Whatever the survey finds next month, the HDA will take the information to its board, who will then take those findings to the Hollister City Council.

“We’re just going to get the questions, collate everybody’s answers, and go up the chain of command,” Maddux said.

Jessica Quandt covers politics for the Free Lance. Reach her at 831-637-5566 ext. 330 or at [email protected]

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