When Politicians Try Planning

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Midway Monitor is delivered free to my doorstep. Big article about the Hamline Midway Coalition trying to figure out what went wrong with parking at the new soccer stadium.  Apparently, there’s not enough parking!  People are parking without permits in the neighborhoods, illegally parking vehicles in no parking zones, clogging up side streets, traffic tie-ups, running out in front of trains and buses.  What the hell, who knew that people would drive to soccer games? 
When Cupcake  wanted to open a 37-seat restaurant a decade ago, the City required 10 off-street parking spaces, a 4-to-1 ratio; but they approve a 20,00 seat soccer stadium with only 150 parking spaces.  That’s not 4-to-1, people, where are all the spectators going to park? 
Of course, it’s hard to be too sympathetic.  A year ago, the City approved the parking plan and neighborhood groups were upset about it.  Instead of 150 parking spaces on two parking lots that would be used a few days per year, they wanted more buildings and even less parking because . . . wait for it . . . fans would Ride The Damned Train.  And besides, they have 400 spaces to park your bicycle, in case you’re coming from, say, Afton and need a place to park the old 10-speed.  What could go wrong? 
Joe Doakes

Given all the wonderful publicity about the Vomit Comet lately, it’s a wonder people didn’t ride the train more frequently. 

I live about a mile from the stadium, and on game days the streets in my neighborhood are clogged and the sidewalks teeming with would-be spectators.  

Great job, City!

3 thoughts on “When Politicians Try Planning

  1. The City Council is hoping that the soccer hooligans will drive out the daily hooligans.

    As for those would-be spectators/parking poachers, maybe the Midway just needs to build a wall?

  2. When the train was being planned, most regular transit users tried to say the train would be slow. But, people for transit for everyone else (aka Leisure Class) told us, “oh, think of how productive you’ll be.” Not considering people’s schedules, hauling kids around, working two jobs, busy lives, etc.

    When the soccer stadium opened, some of those people actually tried to use transit. They were shocked, shocked I tell you, that the train was so slow. Why, it would have only been a ten minute drive, but it took 45 minutes just to get to the game! We had to pay a baby sitter two extra hours because of the train. Ah ha. Tell me about all that extra productive time you’ll enjoy on the train again.

    City council further induces parking nightmares by eliminating parking minimums for apartment developments. So, now, the renters will have to compete with the soccer fans on game days.

    Council’s “wisdom” in ending parking minimums is that reduced parking encourages transit use. Yet when neighbors asked for permit parking to discourage soccer fan parking, that was turned down. I’m not the biggest fan of permit parking, but, by the council’s own logic, parking permit districts ought to encourage transit use to stadium by way of further reduced parking. Instead, the council suggested people could have parking meters in front of their homes.

    But, all the incumbents got re-elected, so despite some outwardly whining, I am going to guess that people were inwardly happy with the city’s direction. Either that, or they haven’t yet figured out that when they’re voting for more transit oriented development, when they’re voting for less parking, when they’re voting for bike lanes, they are voting for these things for themselves, not the mysterious other.

  3. The St. Paul and Minneapolis City Councils absolutely must set a good example by banning themselves from driving, or being driven in, automobiles when attending Council meetings. They must either walk the sidewalks of their fair cities, or take public transit.

    They can refer to the experiences as “listening sessions”.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.