An anonymous reader passes along the following:
The focal point of all seated on the relatively nice new grand plaza steps was…a surface parking lot. Free parking to boot. Seemingly this parking was being used for the Caribou Coffee that is part of the station development and located on the other side of the bridge. There are two (!) curb cuts on 6th avenue within 20 feet of each other giving access to this area and the structured parking under the bridge. There is actually a posted sign in front of Caribou designating an undetermined number of parking places for their business.
This at what is probably the metro’s second largest/most expensive transit station.
I’m starting to think that this station may be the biggest waste of $250 Million our infrastructure has ever seen.
The budget was $79.3 million.
FWIW, this station was never entirely an independent project, despite its advertisement as such. It was obvious from the beginning that this was an attempt to get an “early action item” done for SWLRT and Bottineau LRT.
The existing tail tracks were not suitable for the extensions, and the station was already suffering from overcrowding during games, meaning that it had to be redone before any additional traffic could be added.
when no concert, or big event, what harm is the parking? it seems the idea of platform 1 & 2 as linear not parallel is unorthodox, but doesn’t look like the site afforded very reasily tandem platforms (say to center platforms would accommodate 3 rails).
Maybe it is Minneapolis’ first successful shared space! Urban utopia?
I saw a presentation at Hennepin County Citizen’s Academy about Target Field, and this was shown as an (auto) dropoff space — hence the two curb cuts. I guess it makes sense that it’s being used for parking during off-peak times. It’s a little unsightly, I guess, but is an empty parking lot-ish thing less unsightly?
I plan to write about this later, but I feel it is important to point out both driveways have pop-up bollards that raise during Twins games and other events, effectively making the space entirely pedestrian (there is a second entrance/exit to the parking structure). I witnessed a Kettlebells class there the other day. Pretty cool space for that.