I applaud Zach for his perseverance and volunteerism;
A local business owner says he was so determined to see more parking in downtown that he proposed an idea, involving 60 new parking spots and a bicycle lane. It’s been a project that’s been a year in the making and, with the approval of the City Council, it’s almost complete.
In the early afternoon heat of Thursday morning, the sound of spray paint could be heard along north Main Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls.
“I said ‘Listen, I think this is important for these reasons and I’ll do it, like I’ll come out and I’ll paint it myself” said Zach DeBoer, owner of Exposure Art Gallery on Phillips Avenue.
And for the last two days, that’s exactly what he’s done, putting the finishing touches on a project that he’s been working on for the last year.
What was once duct tape outlining parking spots one September for Food Truck Friday… is now permanent.
So you might be wondering, how is this legal and how did Zach DeBoer do it? After the success of the duct tape parking spots last September, DeBoer drew some “amateur versions” of the proposed new ideas to the City Traffic Engineer with one question, was it possible?
From there, a team looked at the idea and said that the measurements and everything was good. He just needed to get the neighborhood on board.
“What I needed to do is get approval from 80 percent of the property owners located on both sides of the street that would be affected by it,” explained DeBoer. He went door to door and explained that the new idea would not only help their businesses by bringing in more customers with more parking spots but that it would also increase the property’s value.
The hardest part, DeBoer explained, was tracking down phone numbers and email addresses of property owners and getting them to listen past ‘Hey, so…’. But with the 80% approval the project moved forward, to changing the stretch of road on north Main Avenue.
Starting Tuesday, workers stripped the only center lines and painted not only the new center but also the bike lane. That’s when Zach DeBoer, owner of Exposure Art Gallery located on Phillips Avenue, bought spray paint and started painting the 60 new parking spots.
While the city claims that it is legal for Zach to do this because of the 80% approval from the neighborhood, one has to question the liability of the city and and safety concerns of having a citizen buying his own paint and standing in a publicÂ street painting stripes?
It’s bad enough citizens risk their safety trimming city owned trees in the boulevard now they have citizens striping the streets, something public works and the traffic department should have paid for and contracted after Zach did the legwork of the approval process. Are we so destitute for money in the city we now are having citizens buying and painting city streets?
Two thumbs down to the city of Sioux Falls.
*Note; I did not speak with Mr. DeBoer about this before posting or his feelings on volunteering his time and capital.