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January, 2010

Agenda

  1. Call to Order and Minutes;
  2. Update on 3rd Avenue Lot/Skyway;
  3. Discuss Downtown Parking Inventory and Related Issues;
  4. Discuss 2010 Parking Commission Priorities;
  5. Operator's Report; and
  6. Other Issues.

Minutes

Chairperson Commissioner Williams called the meeting to order. Mr. Engen moved to approve the minutes and Ms. Walvatne seconded the motion.

Update on 3rd Avenue Lot/Skyway
Mr. Stein noted that the new lot was rented almost to capacity and Mr. Rogne stated that 39 spots had been rented. Mr. Stein stated that the skyway work had been set back by the extreme cold but that the projected date for opening to the public was the first week of February, 2010. He stated that he would be working with staff to put some art near the lot in the coming spring.

Discuss Downtown Parking Inventory and Related Issues
Ms. Citrowske reviewed the 1999 parking inventory study and the 2003 update to that study. She then explained the changes and updates that had been made to update the study for 2009. The Commission discussed the study area and what changes occurred.  They considered the projections from studies in the 2003 and 2007 parking studies showing the rise in demand with new development. Ms. Citrowske reviewed spending on lot maintenance and development and the financing still being paid on other lots.

Discuss 2010 Parking Commission Priorities
Mr. Stein noted that the Commission’s focus had often been on educating the public about the programs and available parking. The Commission discussed existing capacity, upcoming needs, available funds, and the possibility of financing and building a new structure. Mr. Stein pointed out a parking lot on NP Avenue that may be developable but that a circulator bus would be essential to making that lot usable. Mr. Gilmour stated that the demolition of the US Bank Ramp and the paving of the 3rd Avenue lot had come out of the parking surplus funds. Commissioner Williams noted that transit ridership increasing meant that the decrease in available parking spaces had not caused as many parking issues as it may have. He suggested that a circulator bus could include the Moorhead Center Mall and the MeritCare campus, which would offer opportunities for partnerships.

The Commission discussed with Mr. Lynch and Mr. Anderson the possibility of meeting with NDSU and MeritCare to look at long-term plans. Mr. Anderson described the expanding parking needs of the Sanford-MeritCare complex. Mr. Gilmour suggested that promoting the Park and Ride program may help to reduce congestion. The Commission discussed funding possibilities and the status of the debt load. They considered parking meters and possible legislative partnerships. They discussed the timeline for arranging a meeting of several interested partners and Mr. Gilmour pointed out that there were budget and federal bill questions that may affect discussion at that meeting but that would not be resolved for months yet.

Mr. Anderson noted that the interim study for legislation was also currently underway. Mr. Anderson shared a recent discussion about common challenges that “northern tier” cities shared and the possibility of convening a gathering where workable solutions could be shared. Mr. Stein noted that the priorities looked to be the circulator bus and creating both legislative and community partnerships. The Commission discussed the names of more contacts to include in the discussion of long-term, strategic plans. Mr. Stein stated that he would attempt to arrange the meeting within a month.

Operator’s Report
Mr. Rogne distributed and reviewed the operator’s report for 2009. He noted that the 2nd Ave (South) lot had been almost full with people coming in for jury duty and post office training. The Commission discussed the increase in renters over the past two months and how the loss of capacity meant that such increases could not continue indefinitely. There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned.