Port Washington has a parking problem, or does it?

PORT WASHINGTON (WITI) -- It's frustrating when you can't find a place to park. But one city recently got a surprise. After a parking analysis was done, Port Washington learned it has too many parking spaces.

Mayor Tom Mlada says there are usually two schools of thought about parking in Port Washington.

"One side of the extreme may be that some people feel as if we didn't have enough and others felt like we had way too much," said Mlada.

The city's business improvement district decided to settle the dispute and requested a study be done.

Overall, the study found Port Washington has more parking that it needs. But the study also found the really high traffic areas, where people sometimes have trouble snagging a spot, could be used more effectively to alleviate that problem.

"You have these parking lots that have high volume usage during certain periods of the day but again next door there will be a parking lot that has very little parking in it," said Rob Vanden Noven, Port Washington's Director of Public Works.

The study is pushing the city to consider several options -- promoting "shared" parking as well as putting up better signs directing people to lots they might not know about. One other consideration -- charged for the best parking spots around town.

Now that the city knows it has more spots than it needs, that opens the door for the community to explore the space up to further development.

"The downtown business district could be doubled and you'd have plenty of parking well that means there's potentially some opportunities for us there to take a look at divesting of assets and of course developing those assets," said Mlada.

A final report on the study will be issued after city officials have consulted with the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.