“Not much you can do with Starbucks customers,” neighbor to a Rapid City Starbucks says people are illegally parking and blocking her driveway

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 7:09 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Some say that coffee makes the world go around.

For others, they say it’s keeping them from getting out into the world in the first place.

The Rapid City Police Department says they’ve been receiving phone calls from people who live near the Starbucks off of Saint Patrick Street and Mount Rushmore Road, saying people are parking in and in front of their driveways, blocking them from leaving their homes.

“Not much you can do with Starbucks customers,” says Gina Witte, who neighbors Rapid City’s Starbucks.

“From a technical standpoint,” says Captain John Olson, with the Field Services Division of the Rapid City Police Department, “problem is it’s so popular that it becomes overwhelmed.”

“I am a stay at home mom. When I have people stay in my driveway,” says Witte, “or block my driveway, or even just park across the street... it kind of really interferes with things. Because, if I need to leave with the kids or something and I can’t get out of my driveway, it’s not a very good thing. Then, when people park in the no parking spot across the street and stuff. It really interferes with traffic and everything.”

That traffic leads to accidents, and is something the police department is grappling with.

“I’m not trying to interfere with anyone getting their morning coffee,” says Captain Olson.

However, he says morning coffee isn’t worth life or limb.

“On one of the largest thoroughfares in Rapid City,” says Captain Olson, “being Mount Rushmore Road.”

He says both parking enforcement and police officers are involved “to check it out during the busiest times of day. Which is early morning, and then the early afternoon. Make sure there’s not a hazard to life or limb down in the Starbucks parking lot.”

Although the police department is working on correcting the problem, they’re asking for the communities help.

“I would encourage people not to block lanes of traffic where you become a traffic hazard, and you could have some serious property damage done to you or possibly get injured. Especially on Mount Rushmore Road,” says Olson. “[It’s] Very busy.”

Take a leap, and try a new coffee joint.

“It would be easier,” says Witte.

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