Downtown Holland gets parking ambassador

The city of Holland has employed a parking ambassador who will be the friendly face of parking.

HOLLAND, MICH - We all know how much of a headache parking downtown in a city can be. Jim Vandepoel may know it a little too well.

"Most of the time it's not that bad," Vandepoel, the owner of Superior Sports Store in downtown Holland said. "But there's some employees that really take up a lot of the spaces and that's been a problem since year one."

Parking is a problem the city of Holland says they are aware of, and they want to combat it. 

"It's a great problem to have. You have so many people looking for parking spaces," Downtown Development Coordinator, Amy Sasamoto, said. "In an effort to maintain our free parking system in downtown Holland we've done a few things and one of the things we want to do is hire a parking ambassador. She's really going to be the friendly face of parking in downtown Holland." 

This ambassador will help people figure out where they can and cannot park and even give out tickets if need be.

"She will be deputized to write tickets for people that are violating, parking ordinances pertaining to parking in a handicap space, parking in a no parking zone," Sasamoto added. 

As for those employees parking in customer lots, they'll receive a warning. 

"Mostly just a conversation about mainly where we want them to park," she said. 

An effort to keep the downtown experience easy and the parking free.

"We really don't want to ever go into the direction of ever having to put meters downtown for parking," Sasamoto added.  

"It'll be interesting how that all turns out," Vandepoel said. "We got to give that a shot. I think it might work." 

In addition to hiring a parking ambassador, the city also put up 26 new parking signs downtown this week.
Those signs will help customers and employees figure out where they can and cannot park.

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