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It’s time that someone speaks the factual truth about what it’s really like to spend time in downtown Bismarck as a tourist. I have lived in many towns in America that are far easier to navigate, I can assure you. Getting in your vehicle, driving to downtown Bismarck, is a feat if you can do it without incident. The three lanes on Main Avenue also are troubling.

Just parking in downtown is perilous these days. My favorite places to go are enormously tricky as I always have to figure out where to park then parallel park my sedan hoping that I did it well enough not to get a parking enforcement ticket. I also sat watching near the library one day in 2016 while the parking enforcement patrol person pulled out a measuring tape to see how close to the curb the parked vehicle was then wrote a ticket to that sad motorist. I said to myself, never forget to mention this fact to everyone who will listen after witnessing such revenue building tactics in my city.

When a person drives to downtown to go shop, and almost all the parking lots are full or say "private use only," this signage is unfriendly to trade and commerce coupled with tourism dissuasion. Who would think these issues aren't true? Most all of the venues know it. They all are owned by somebody who's been told by their customers how monstrous it is to actually park somewhere and (a) not get a ticket and (b) not walk five blocks to the store, shop or venue of their planned destination.

So if readers actually want to know, I will again always say, it's a huge feat to get into the downtown area without incident, collision and or a ticket after finally finding a parking space. This must improve soon!

Elizabeth Grey Bear, Bismarck

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