The parking app in St. Paul

parking app
PassportParking Mobile Pay

There are more parking meters in St. Paul than ever before. In the old days, I used to carry a roll of quarters because the meters only accepted quarters.

The newer parking pay stations accept quarters, paper money and credit cards and there is a parking app for your phone.

For the last couple of years, I have been using the PassportParking Mobile Pay app. It was life-changing for me. 🙂

All I have to do is open the app and put in the parking space number. I get an alarm when my meter is expiring and the opportunity to extend the time.

It is like magic. It doesn’t seem like many people know about it or are using it. You can get the app at the google play store and at the Apple app store and it is free.

parking
Parking on West 7th

Also, see Parking in downtown St. Paul

Welcome, marathon runners

It’s marathon weekend and today is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.  The marathon ends in St. Paul at the Minnesota State Capital. It starts in Minneapolis. The only reason I even point that out is because there are a lot of people who do not know that St. Paul and Minneapolis are actually two separate cities.

Enjoy the day and run, run, run!

Medtronic Marathon
Map of the finish line

What it will look like when you get there.

marathon crowd
Finish

Details on an old brownstone

In honor of throwback Thursday.

Germania Bank Building
Germania Bank Building – 6 W 5th Street – Corner of 6th and Wabasha

It is the small details that make this building so interesting. Built in 1889 of sandstone in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. St. Paul has a lot of interesting architecture if you know where to look. I recommend heading downtown.

 

Be aware of the variance

Here in St. Paul we have zoning laws and building codes. The zoning laws make it hard for businesses to operate in residential areas. When business owners want to circumvent the rules they can get a variance.

The way the variance system works is that nearby property owners are notified of the request and if they do not protest, complain and testify en masse the variance is granted. In fact, even if they do protest it may still be granted.

The variance system is kind of backward. Persons asking for a variance do not have to get the majority of neighbors to agree to it, instead neighbors have to protest it. Sometimes those neighbors are tenants and they don’t have a say.

There are many examples of this throughout the city. Business owners get variances that allow them to operate even though zoning laws and other laws forbid it. As homeowners, our property rights are constantly under siege as variances allow them to be taken away.

St. Paul residents need to understand that their next door neighbor could buy up neighboring properties, tear down some houses and convert their home into a business that generates noise, traffic and that might give off unpleasant odors. That is what can be accomplished with variances.

As property owners, we have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of our property. When a neighboring homeowner is granted a variance the neighbors sometimes lose that right.

sunset
St. Paul

Playing games downtown

Sometimes I think downtown St. Paul is St. Paul’s best kept secret. Did you know that Wednesday is game day at the Union Depot? They set up giant board games from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM.

Games include Chess, Checkers, Connect Four, Dominoes, Jenga, Tic Tac Toe and others. There are ping pong tables too but they are the normal size.

No one was playing when I walked through last Wednesday probably because the weather was amazing.

If you are looking for a family friendly Wednesday activity this could be it.

The Green Line stops at the Union Depot and if you have to drive there is plenty of parking in the attached ramp and even on the street. There are is also a new restaurant and bar in the Union Depot.

Giant Chess