We all pay for parking

You don’t need to own a car to pay for parking. The City of Saint Paul had a parking study. Before the pandemic, I managed to attend one of the meetings and have been following along. Where I live close to downtown there are always parking ‘issues”.

There are businesses located right in the middle of residential areas that have little or no off-street parking which is why we have so much permit parking in St. Paul.

The cost of parking is bundled into everything. I notice it with housing, especially condos. Some condos come with 20K worth of parking. The lowest price units offer some surface lot parking or just street parking. Multi-unit housing that doesn’t have off-street parking is much harder to sell than multi-unit housing with garages or surface lots.

Cars are parked more than they are driven and in St. Paul, according to the study approximately 35.6% of the City’s land area is devoted primarily to the purpose of moving and storing automobiles; 25.6% of Saint Paul’s land area is used for roadways and 8% is devoted to surface parking.

Parking requirements make building an apartment building more expensive and even people who do not have cars pay for parking. The city is designed for cars and parking and,31% of emissions in the city can be attributed to vehicles.

A parking space in Saint Paul requires a minimum of 252 square feet; 162 square feet is required for the parking space itself and 90 square feet is required for a maneuvering lane. There are minimum parking requirements for new construction and the city wants to change them.

Here is a link to the study: Final parking study. It is worth a read and in a nutshell, it is aimed at reducing our dependency on automobiles and doing some “unbundling” of the costs added to everything to accommodate parking.

Parking on West 7th


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