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March 30, 2012 Meeting

Agenda

  1. Approve Order of Agenda;
  2. Minutes (Regular Meeting of February 3, 2012);
  3. Discuss Parking Organizational Structure;
  4. Update on Service Vehicle Permit Regulations;
  5. Update on Go2030 Comprehensive Plan;
  6. Update on Downtown Trailblazing;
  7. Review Operator's Report; and
  8. Other Issues

Minutes

Thorson to the Commission. Mr. Engen moved to approve the order of the agenda and Ms. Walvatne seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 1: Minutes: Regular Meeting of February 3, 2012
Mr. Engen moved to approve the minutes of the February 3, 2012 Parking Commission meeting and Ms. Walvatne seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 2: Discuss Parking Organizational Structure
Ms. Walvatne reviewed the on-going exploration of the parking enforcement structure with the City of Fargo and explained the three organizational charts provided to the Commission. Bob Stein, Fargo Senior Planner, described how these charts had been created to demonstrate the relationships or lack thereof between the various entities. The Commission discussed how customer service could be improved and how relationships among departments and with non-city entities could be improved. They considered adding license plate recognition to the existing, automated system.

The Commission discussed the authority and funding available to them for their efforts. They discussed whether dedicated positions for parking enforcement would make sense. Mr. Stein stated that staff was reviewing that possibility. Steve Sprague, City Auditor, explained an estimate of the time his staff currently dedicates to parking ticket issues and how having a single person responsible for ticket entry and questions would improve efficiency for the rest of his office. The Commission discussed whether some of the questions or complaints could be eliminated by better education or use of the available technology. They considered how changes to the Duncan contract upon renewal might encourage people to use automated systems to pay their tickets.

John Rogne with Parking Services stated that people come to his office to pay tickets as well. The Commission discussed ways to make it easier for people to find information and pay for parking tickets. They considered the demographics, the most-frequent violations and appeal reasons, and changes to the tickets themselves to help people find answers. Mr. Sprague reminded the Commission that parking issues extended well beyond parking tickets.

Item 3: Update on Service Vehicle Permit Regulations
Mr. Stein reviewed the Service Vehicle Permit program and for what it had been intended. He explained how use of the program had changed with the increased construction downtown, particularly between Second and Fourth Avenues along Broadway. The Commission discussed what changes to the program might be most effective at discouraging construction companies from leaving their vehicles in valuable retail parking spaces all day. They reviewed where other parking was available both in alleys and other off-street locations and how special circumstances could be handled.

Jeremy Gorden, Fargo Traffic Engineer, explained the process for lane and parking area closure and the Commission discussed how that could be expanded to cover large equipment like cranes as well. They considered creating a separate category of Service Vehicle Permit for longer-term projects. Jonathan Atkins, Fargo Civil Engineer, suggested allowing for a time limit on these permits for use on Broadway rather than eliminating the availability entirely. The Commission agreed to table the discussion so that staff and Community Service Officers could discuss enforcement and other options.

Item 4: Update on Go2030 Comprehensive Plan
Mr. Stein reviewed the information that had been distributed to the Commission. He drew the Commission’s attention to the Initiative that addressed parking and how it related to the development plan as a whole. He explained how the input had been ranked and the Commission discussed how the results had been received and reinforced by further surveys. They talked about how broader programs had been progressing around the state. Mr. Stein pointed out that the Go2030 initiative had been mostly paid for by the US Department of Energy and Commissioner Williams pointed out that Fargo had been the only place in the country to use the federal grant money available to do long-range planning for energy efficiency improvements.

Item 5: Update on Downtown Trailblazing
Kim Citrowske, Fargo Planner, noted that a local photographer had joined the committee to update and improve trailblazing signage.

Item 6: Review Operator’s Report
Mr. Rogne reviewed the report for February, 2012. He noted that February had seen the highest revenue in hourly parking in the past twelve months and that the underground Ground Transportation Center lot was full.  There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 a.m.