Letter: Parking on Payne

To the editor:

I have read the 2009 ESNDC study regarding parking on Payne.  I quote the study: “parking demand is relatively low along the Payne avenue corridor and the percentage of unutilized parking spaces is relatively high ... Implementing the city’s parking requirement would require business owners and property owners to pay for and build an estimated 1,793 stalls, just to experience an excess supply of 1,920 stalls.”  Their number one long-term recommendation is to re-zone to the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) zoning to avoid these ridiculous parking rules.  The second priority would be this kind of off-street shared parking that is envisioned - not out of a sense of urgent need but out of a sense of immediate opportunity since land is available for future use.  Payne Avenue does not have a parking shortage, but when the day comes that people really think it does we should recognize that what we truly have is a walking shortage.  Payne Ave (and Arcade) should be developed as extremely walkable main streets that are transit-oriented, not carving out more and more spaces for cars.  I heavily favor off-street parking that is hidden behind the businesses if we need to add spaces, but I do not agree with the desperate tone of necessity.  We have on-street parking (absolutely critical!) and side streets, and we have buses.  One thing we lack: bicycle parking.

Eric Saathoff
St. Paul, MN

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