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September 3, 2010

Agenda

  1. Call to Order and Minutes;
  2. Discuss Designated Motorcycle Parking;
  3. Discuss Car Share Concept;
  4. Discuss Civic Lot Control Equipment;
  5. Review Operator's Report and Year-to-Date Financial Report;
  6. Update on Bike Parking;
  7. Discuss Continuing Education Article; and
  8. Other Issues

Minutes

Members Present: Chairperson Commissioner Mike Williams, Rick Engen, Margie Bailly, Karen Stoker

Others Present: Bob Stein, Jim Gilmour, Kim Citrowske, John Rogne

Chairperson Commissioner Williams called the meeting to order. Mr. Engen moved to approve the minutes of the August 6, 2010 meeting and Ms. Bailly seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Discuss Designated Motorcycle Parking

Mr. Stein reminded the Commission of its previous discussion and action surrounding motorcycle parking and noted that the designated parking had been removed. Mr. Engen explained that you could fit three or four motorcycles in a single parallel parking space and that it had been an attempt to consolidate parking. The Commission agreed to keep the idea in mind should another possibility arise.

Discuss Car Share Concept

Mr. Stein stated that he was in the information gathering phase. Ms. Citrowske reviewed the general information, including fees. She noted that insurance was included in the rental fee and that it was possible to use the vehicles for a weekend. Commissioner Williams noted that it might work well for apartment building owners as well as North Dakota State University (NDSU). Ms. Bergum asked if there would be designated parking spaces and Ms. Citrowske agreed that there would. Ms. Citrowske noted that companies would do their own research and marketing. The Commission discussed the merits of the program and other possibilities for users. Ms. Citrowske explained one ride share program and stated she would send Commission members a link to a demonstration of the program. Mr. Stein suggested that the two universities in Moorhead may also have students interested in participating. The Commission agreed that the companies should be invited to investigate Fargo.

Discuss Civic Lot Control Equipment

Mr. Stein noted there was a wide variety of different types of users that complicated automating the control equipment for the Civic Center lot. He stated he would be looking into technology to handle that range. He asked the Commission for input on amenities for which they would look in an unattended lot. Ms. Bailly pointed out that losing the attendant would reduce the feeling of security that people parking there would feel. Mr. Stein pointed out that someone would still need to survey the lot from time to time in order to enforce the rules. The Commission discussed other options and the
purpose of making a change. They discussed how the City, the library, and the Civic Center shared costs for that lot. Mr. Rogne expressed his concern that people unfamiliar with using pay parking lots would not use them if there were no attendant to give them information. Mr. Stein stated that this discussion had taken place ten years before and that public relations had trumped the day-to-day cost then.

Review Operator’s Report and Year-to-Date Financial Report

Mr. Rogne reviewed the previous month’s totals and the reason for the increase in monthly rentals. The Commission discussed the CityScapes building and Sanford Health with regard to filling the Island Park Ramp. They considered the occupancy rates and available space at the various city lots. Mr. Stein stated the parking revenues were up about $27,000 over the period a year before in part due to rate increases. The Commission discussed the 3rd Avenue lot and the use of the garden plots. Mr. Stein noted that staff was working with the architect for the US Bank and skyway remodels to intercept roof run-off for use in irrigation.

Update on Bike Parking

Ms. Citrowske stated the bike racks should be completed today and that the bollards and striping should be in place early next week. Mr. Stein noted that the bollards would be installed and removed by the Street Department. He stated that there would be capacity for about twelve bicycles in a single parallel parking spot.

Discuss Continuing Education Article

Mr. Stein reviewed the article about Ann Arbor, Michigan. He noted that the city owned about 3,400 parking spaces, including on-street parking, surface lots, and parking structures. The Commission discussed the services listed in the article and considered how to apply some of the services within Fargo. They considered how to use pricing to direct parking behavior and how they had attempted to do this. Mr. Stein noted that parking was only a piece of a larger transit picture and Commissioner Williams agreed. The Commission discussed drawing parking into discussions of infrastructure within the city and Mr. Stein pointed out that the cost of maintaining the system had been approximately even with the intake from those lots. They discussed the financing of and income from the Island Park and Ground Transportation Center (GTC) ramps. Mr. Gilmour pointed out that moving Municipal Court to the GTC would create more opportunities to bring people to transit and to use the underground ramp.

Other Issues

Mr. Gilmour explained the “livable communities” initiative underway to combine transportation, housing, and environmental concerns. He noted that the ideas were not new but that agencies were now working together to encourage effective investment of federal dollars. Commissioner Williams noted that annual metropolitan area transit ridership had risen to two million in the past year and miles travelled on the interstates in town had fallen. Mr. Gilmour stated that the downtown circulator bus had not been funded in next year’s budget but that staff would continue to pursue opportunities in
state and federal arenas. Commissioner Williams suggested a more-energetic pursuit of Sanford keeping their main campus downtown and perhaps expanding their operations closer in rather than building new facilities on the south end of town.

The Commission discussed Richard Florida and his research into why some communities are successful and how livable cities draw the people who will create jobs and new businesses. Mr. Gilmour stated Sanford would use a portion of its lot as a park and ride facility and that the bus on that route would operate fifteen minutes earlier to accommodate people who choose to use that option. He stated that a bus route would be expanded to serve the Woodhaven and Osgood areas in southwest Fargo to open those areas for housing to transit riders. He noted that staff was putting together a presentation for elected and appointed officials, including opportunities for public input,
to explain the reasons for developing the comprehensive plans and how it will be used. There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned.