Parking has been at a premium in downtown Crown Point, but all that's going to change as a result of some action by the city's Board of Works.
The Board of Works authorized city leaders to add more signs to show the public where free parking is located, within a block from the Crown Point square.
According to a study by Ben Waisnora, an intern from Valparaiso University in the city's Planning Department, there are a total of 1,394 parking spaces within a one-block radius of the square. Of that number, 688 are public parking spaces. That total includes 324 spaces that are free for a two-hour period.
Waisnora said the signage the city has in place that shows where the parking is located is small in quality and size, and few people notice it.
"There are a few of these signs, but they are not easily identifiable," he told members of the Crown Point Board of Works.
"My opinion remains that there is ample parking in the downtown area, but we are lacking the proper signage for directing people to clearly marked public lots," Waisnora said.
"People don't really know where they can park and where it's free," he said. "There could be a message that goes out to residents in their water bills. We also can install signs telling people where they can park."
Crown Point Mayor David Uran also said once Bulldog Park is open and other development gets underway, they might also be able to create an app the public can access and see where to park before an event begins
The board approved spending a maximum of $3,000 to create the new signs which will be installed in a variety of areas near the square.
Uran said this will be a "huge step" in educating people where they can park without any issues.
A year ago, the city began working on the parking issue. Police said last year there would be more enforcement of the two-hour daily parking limit during weekdays — an ordinance that has been in place for 25 years.
There has been lots of discussion at the Board of Works meetings over the last year regarding parking around the square.
"We want to really work with the customers, residents and business owners to make this work," Uran said. "And if that can be the case, then we don't have to spend money or millions of dollars on something we may not need, which is a parking garage."