April 9, 2010
- Call to Order and Minutes;
- Downtown Parking Tour (potential downtown circulator route, Island Park ramp meter area, 2nd Avenue North lot, 3rd Avenue North lot, and other points of interest);
- Operator's Report; and
- Other Issues
The regular meeting of the Board of Parking Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota was held at 8:00 a.m. Friday, April 9, 2010.
Members Present: Chairperson Commissioner Mike Williams, Rick Engen, Tracy Walvatne, Margie Bailly
Others Present: Bob Stein, Jim Gilmour, Jim Hinderaker, Kim Citrowske, Gregg Schildberger, Mike Farley, John Rogne
Downtown Parking Tour
Mr. Stein distributed a map of the proposed route and reviewed possible issues for the downtown circulator bus. The Commission discussed the appearance of the vehicle to be used and Mr. Gilmour pointed out that it would have the same chassis as other city buses in order to make maintenance more efficient. Mr. Stein explained the design of the proposed route and how the MeritCare/Sanford buildings had been included. He noted that traffic concerns may require changes to the suggested course and that it would require two buses to make a fifteen-minute turn-around time.
The Commission visited the 3rd Street and 5th Avenue North lot and discussed the landscaping and possibility of gardening along the east side, including the use of hanging baskets. Commissioner Williams suggested that collecting runoff from the US Bank building may be possible. Mr. Stein stated that he was seeking a sculpture to include in the northeast corner of the lot. The Commission considered whether fencing around the lot would cause problems with snow removal. They discussed proposed changes to the parking along 4th Avenue North and the addition of bicycle lanes along that street. Mr. Stein stated that Sanford/MeritCare employees who had been parking in the Ground Transportation Center underground ramp had been very happy with bus service from the GTC to the various buildings and Ms. Bailly suggested that testimonials from these transit users may help advertise a circulator route.
The Commission visited the 2nd Avenue north-side lot and discussed the ownership of the neighboring parcels and the condition of the pavement of all of the adjoining lots. They considered the possibility of consolidating one or more of those lots with the current City property. Mr. Rogne stated that this was the busiest of the City’s surface lots. Mr. Stein noted that a circulator route may help to convince downtown North Dakota State University (NDSU) students and residents to use the Island Park ramp. He stated that he was looking for more bike rack locations, including NDSU buildings. He noted that the new snow plows were causing damage to racks and landscaping near the street and stated that he was considering removable racks if he can find winter storage space for them.
The Commission visited the NP Avenue lot and discussed the pocket park. Mr. Stein stated that he had contracted with Oasis Plantscapes to maintain and replace landscaping as needed in all of the parking facilities. The Commission moved to the Island Park Ramp and discussed how passenger pick-up would work. Mr. Stein pointed out the heated lobby where people could wait in the winter. They discussed how trains would affect the timing of the shuttle and options for working around the tracks or building in enough time to keep on schedule. Mr. Stein stated that a route through the GTC would provide a valuable connection point for NDSU students and downtown visitors. The Commission discussed the concerns of the Transit Department staff including visibility at the tracks on Broadway. They considered including 2nd Street North as a part of the regular route to avoid crossing the train tracks. The discussed keeping the route flexible and allowing for adjustment to service new lots if needed.