Like Rochester, downtown Minneapolis has too many surface parking lots. Unlike Rochester, Minneapolis is studying what to do with all that asphalt. Surface lots don’t bring in as much tax revenue as buildings and they’re pretty darn ugly. Many of the lots start emptying out by noon.
The parking lots multiplied after World War II, when Minneapolis and other American cities pursued policies hostile to urban development and friendly to suburbanization, said Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design at University of Minnesota.
Many of downtown’s buildings were torn down to make way for parking…
Rochester’s downtown is similarly dotted with surface lots, giving some streets a pockmarked feel. I believe Frontier Field never sparked any development because it’s surrounded by a sea of asphalt. The Star Tribune article has a similar observation about the Vikings’ stadium:
City leaders do not want to make the same mistakes they did with the Metrodome, said Fisher, who is also co-chairman of the stadium implementation committee.
“We absolutely cannot have just big asphalt surface parking lots around the new stadium or we will have failed,” said Fisher, suggesting they find a more creative, urban way to allow tailgating.
Minneapolis barred more downtown lots in 1999. It was around then Monroe County imploded the Hotel Rochester to make way for…parking.
But Rochester is making some progress on filling in lots, as the city sold one at Main and Plymouth for a condo development.
Finding solutions to downtown parking doesn’t mean loading up on surface lots. Public transportation, carpooling and above and underground garages are all options. Underground parking is expensive, but many developers now consider them part of the cost of building on desirable downtown land.
Links of the Day:
– The Rochester area unemployment rate is now above 8 percent, as more people jump into the job market.
– The state lawmaker pay raise could still happen, but probably not until after the November election.
– Colleges are teaching mom and dad how to let go of their college freshman. (My parents couldn’t wait to hit the road after saying goodbye.)
– The Vatican is about to name its first American Indian saint. She’s from the Mohawk Valley.