33 thoughts on “Podcast #125 – Stopping the Federal Reserve Parking Ramp with Nancy Gardner and Tom Mallon

  1. Elizabeth Larey

    At some point the “ no cars in downtown” has got to stop. A major employer has every right in the United States of America to build a parking ramp for their employees. Mass transit is not readily available for many who live in the suburbs. it is also not a viable option for older, less mobile people. Parking blocks away, when it is 20 below is an option, but one most would not choose. Keep it up, and you will turn Minneapolis into a city without major employers. Combine this with no zoning and you’ll be stuck with two classes, the rich and the poor.

    1. Adam MillerAdam Miller

      Their own traffic study showed that the existing surface parking lot wasn’t even close to full any of the times they went to look – something like 80 open spots. It wasn’t close to full when I went by just now.

      1. Jeff L.

        Did you call and let them know their lot wasn’t full? This is useful information they should have before trying to come up with any alternate proposals.

          1. Jeff L.

            It appears they didn’t since the report referenced 2018 numbers and they still moved forward with their proposal. Clearly you know something they don’t and you should alert them as soon as possible to save everyone the headache of this happening again.

    2. Alex SchieferdeckerAlex Schieferdecker

      “it is also not a viable option for older, less mobile people”

      Public transit is usually a far better option than driving for older, less mobile people. Driving requires good eyesight and reasonably quick reflexes, public transit requires nothing more than the ability to get on board. For people with even less mobility, Metro Transit offers the Metro Mobility service.

      It’s frustrating to see older people held up as a reason to preserve auto-mobility, when these groups actually drive less than the mean, and are disproportionately the victims (and perpetrators) of crashes.

    3. Tom Reynen

      I agree with Elizabeth that defeating the parking ramp proposal was a bad idea. I live in Shoreview and there is no easy way for us to enjoy the restaurants and shops in the North Loop without driving. Transit options do not exist for many parts of the cities. At this point in my life I am fortunate to live on a two acre lot on a lake and I don’t want to live downtown. Why wall off this part of town from the metro area? Strikes me as greedy. We have plenty of free parking for you when you come out to the suburbs.

      1. Adam MillerAdam Miller

        The biggest mistakes the city makes are when it tries to arranging itself for visitors from, for example, Shoreview. If we make the city pleasant enough for the people who are already in it, you will come anyway.

        Despite your all your free parking and having grown up in New Brighton, I don’t recall the last time I went to Shoreview for anything.

      2. Christa MosengChrista Moseng

        If you don’t want to shoulder the burden of finding a place to keep your car, don’t bring it with you. Drive to the nearest transit entry point and use transit.

        A very small amount of planning solves your problem without forcing another city to provide a place to store your personal property.

        It’s only walled off if you refuse to put forth any effort to do anything besides the absolutely most convenient thing for you personally.

        1. Tom Reynen

          Christa: “It’s only walled off if you refuse to put forth any effort to do anything besides the absolutely most convenient thing for you personally.”

          I dare you to tell me how to get back and forth to the North Loop or the Twins stadium from Shoreview between 6 and 11 pm if we want to have dinner or go to a ballgame. When the Twin Cities has mass transit options that serve all communities, then you can talk about eliminating cars. Until then we need some sort of parking. Uber may solve the parking issue but not the number of cars on the neighborhood. There is no economic sense for businesses to serve only customer that can walk there.

          1. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke Moderator   Post author

            There’s lots of parking in downtown Minneapolis if you pay a bit. There are also lots of ways to park cheaply and walk or take the bus (e.g. the “downtown zone) once you have found a place to store your car. the expectation that you’d be able to drive to very near your downtown destination and park cheaply is absurd.

  2. Brian

    The Federal Reserve is likely anticipating that the remaining public surface lots In the North Loop will go away as developers build on them.

    800 spots is still a huge number to propose.

    I know from experience that the North Loop is not convenient for busing. I am being transferred from downtown to the North Loop shortly. This will add up to an hour to my daily bus commute because I have to go downtown and then take the 7 that only comes every 30 minutes.

      1. Brian

        How many of these ramps are public versus supplying parking for those living or working in the building?

        1. Adam MillerAdam Miller

          The one on 10th Ave is open to the public (there may be one or two small offices space, but it is otherwise all parking). The signage on the one on 3rd Street is less unambiguous (3rd is also torn up right now), but they were advertising for and accepting Twins parking this afternoon.

          The one that is not finished yet will be open to the public as well. It’s mostly parking and way more than would be needed for it’s non-parking tenants.

          1. Jeff L.

            The Federal Reserve should look into using this ramp, it would definitely save a lot of money.

          2. Brian

            This ramp has a waiting list for monthly parking. I would guess if this ramp had plenty of space then the Fed would not be looking for more parking for employees.

            1. Matt SteeleMatt

              I would guess if a ramp had a waiting list, they should raise their contract price until they no longer have a waiting list.

              Also, the Fed was looking for more parking for employees despite their own TDM report they commissioned finding that they had an excess of existing parking.

  3. dennis

    #4 and 6 and #11 run every10-15mins ,#61 every 20-30 mins and # 7 every 30mins of the Federal Reserve ,
    #3 and #14 is on Washington run every15-20mins ,that many bus lines there will be frequent services .2 blocks this is not the suburbs to have parking infront of the buildings
    Downtown is already congested as result buses are crawling.Many of the express buses are not even full yet the GOVT is giving away free of cheap parking .

    1. Brian

      How many places can one park for free in downtown? I don’t consider any parking particularly cheap in the downtown core. Early bird parking for all day is $12 to $22. I’ve read that the Government center parking ramp is over $20 for the first hour. There used to be fairly cheap surface lots if you walked a ways, but they have been replaced with buildings.

      I’ve mentioned before that my downtown employer practically give away Metropasses, but some employees still pay over $200 a month plus gas to drive downtown.

        1. Brian

          How are we subsidizing parking in downtown? The city increased meter rates and limited usage to force workers to park off street.

          1. Nicole SalicaNicole Salica

            You probably already know that meters don’t pay for the full cost of running the parking space downtown, let alone the opportunity cost of those square feet.

            1. Brian

              Many of those parking spots in downtown are generating about $10,000 a year, or $100,000 per decade. Is that really not enough to maintain 160 square feet of pavement?

              Raise the rates if not generating enough revenue. They are still cheaper than off street parking which is why they are full much of the day.

          2. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke Moderator   Post author

            We subsidize parking in downtown Minneapolis by:

            -not taxing parking ramps at the rate they would be taxed if they were used for other more valuable purposes
            -many municipally owned parking ramps that have below-market rates
            -not charging market rates for on-street parking

            (and probably more things too)

      1. Tim

        People who need to drive to work are better off not working downtown. That’s not meant to be either anti-driving or anti-downtown; it’s just a statement of fact. There are many areas in the metro that have jobs where people can drive to them if needed.

  4. Alex SchieferdeckerAlex Schieferdecker

    Something that strikes me from this interview is the extent to which people have learned from the Minneapolis 2040 debate.

    Not everyone is as in the weeds, for or against, as the commentators on this website. For a lot of people, the 2040 plan was the first time they had heard of how zoning and land use are linked to climate change and social justice.

    While many people sorted into the for and against camps, a lot of people were undecided, and learned from the conversation.

  5. Andrew Evans

    We don’t really go downtown anymore on a whim, and although I sometimes commute through the North Loop I rarely stop. Parking is too hard, or too expensive to go on a whim. Not that this ramp would solve the issue, and good for them for defeating this I guess.

    Not everyone is going to take public transit or a taxi, some won’t go to those areas anymore.

  6. Frank Phelan

    It sounds like some are very concerned that drivers have ready access to cheap or “free” parking everywhere. I rarely hear concerns that transit riders have cheap or free access to every possible area they may wish to work or play.

    Sad, really.

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