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April 1, 2011


  1. Call to Order and Minutes;
  2. Discuss Unresolved Issues: Definition of a Monthly Pass and ADA On-Street;
  3. Determine 2011 Parking Goals: POP/Social Media, Interim Solutions for North-Side Parking Issues, Circulator, and Other;
  4. Update on Great Northern Parking Conference;
  5. Review Operator's Report; and
  6. Other Issues


Discuss Unresolved Issues

Mr. Stein reviewed the complaint received regarding monthly passes and parking spot availability.  He shared the rates in Rochester, Minnesota, for reserving a spot in their parking lots.  He suggested that the Commission specify to what a monthly pass versus a reserved space would entitle renters. The Commission discussed the time range during which a spot would be guaranteed by a monthly pass.  They considered how often this problem occurred and whether residents would take advantage of reserving a specific place.  Mr. Rogne explained how the attendants try to save room for monthly parkers.

The Commission discussed how to increase the awareness of such a definition and how to determine the value of a reserved space.  They considered whether offering such spaces would be worth the investment, what the private sector charged, and the difference between public and private lots.  Mr. Stein explained the options and suggested that the policy was necessary regardless of any other decision.  The Commission requested a proposed pricing structure and an inventory from Mr. Stein for discussion at the May, 2011 meeting.  The Commission discussed using boots on illegally parked vehicles rather than impounding them.  Mr. Lynch explained that North Dakota State University (NDSU) was unable to use these devices because state law forbade them on state-owned property.

Mr. Stein explained that, for decades, on-street parking rules had not been enforced on vehicles with handicapped license plates or placards.  Mr. Engen moved that an extra half hour be allowed for vehicles so marked and Commissioner Williams recommended waiting until a representative of the police department could be present to discuss applying such a rule.  The Commission agreed and  Mr. Engen’s motion died for lack of a second.

Determine 2011 Parking Goals

Mr. Stein reviewed the goals from 2010 and the progress on them.  He suggested that social media may be an effective way to connect with local residents.  Commissioner Williams noted that an employee did similar updates for transit and suggested that the Commission might be able to do parking updates as well.

The Commission discussed the lack of parking on the north end of downtown and the difficulty of creating events without being able to offer a place for attendees to park.  Commissioner Williams suggested another recommendation to the Finance Committee that a circulator bus route be funded.   Ms. Walvatne moved that the Finance Committee designate $8 million for a four-hundred spot parking ramp in the designated available area and Ms. Stoker seconded the motion.  All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.  The Commission discussed the viability of this request and where such a ramp could be sited.

Commissioner Williams suggested Mr. Stein meet with the social media staff in transit to determine whether they could do add parking information to their workload.  Commissioner Williams noted that he and Commissioner Piepkorn had met with Mark Bittner with the Engineering Department and stated that the circulator route had been moved to the top of the priority list for new routes.  He noted that a two-year funding cycle would allow the route to get established and that two buses running at ten- to fifteen-minute intervals were the aim.  The Commission discussed how the timing of the route would work and from where a core group of users would come.  They considered using the circulator as a supplement to existing north-side transit routes.    They talked about how Sanford’s plans for the future would affect parking on the north end of downtown.

Ms. Citrowske distributed information about a valet parking webinar and the Commission discussed who should attend.

Update on the Great Northern Parking Conference

Mr. Stein noted that the web site for the conference should be public over the next week and that the fee for the conference would be $90 with meals included.  He noted that the Radisson Hotel had agreed to a good room rate for attendees.  The Commission discussed the fee for sponsorships and the number of attendees they hoped to attract.  Mr. Stein explained that the target area was North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba.  Commissioner Williams pointed out that architects would also benefit from attending.  Mr. Stein reviewed the speakers for the conference.  The Commission discussed the fee and whether a separate rate could be established to bring in a more diverse group, including students.

Operator’s Report

Mr. Rogne reviewed the occupancy and hourly rental rates for the city-owned lots.  He noted that the POP program had increased in March and explained some current expansions that would affect these numbers in the near future.  The Commission discussed the balance between monthly and hourly rentals.  There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned.