August 10, 2012 by Sarah M
By Nick Halter
Neighbors who live within a stone’s throw of the heart of Uptown have successfully petitioned the city to make parking on their blocks permit-only parking.
Three blocks — Girard Avenue between 31st and 32nd, Knox Avenue between Lake and 31st; and 31st Street between Girard and Fremont — will become critical parking blocks, which means only residents of the block and their guests can park on the block if they purchase permits.
City Council Member Meg Tuthill (Ward 10) said some neighbors have been working on getting permit-only parking for over a year. She said the parking changes are citizen-driven and aren’t introduced by council members. Neighbors have to get 75 percent of their block to sign off on the idea, and that includes all residents of apartment buildings.
Tuthill said she’s hopeful that the changes will benefit the whole community. With the recent addition of the 436-stall MoZaic parking ramp near the Hennepin and Lagoon intersection, Tuthill said visitors will still have plenty of places to park.
“I hope it will encourage people to use the ramps,” she said. “I hope it brings some relief to the residents. So we’re going to keep our fingers crossed and count on it being a win-win for everybody.”
Only residents of the new critical parking blocks can purchase permits. Permits cost $25 and last one year, although new critical parking blocks require a $10 startup fee. Each resident with a valid driver’s license can purchase two permits, so residents can hold an extra permit for when they have visitors.
The big question now will be whether or not more Uptown blocks follow suit. With the three new blocks going to critical parking, Uptown now has five permit-only parking blocks.
Development is booming in Uptown, with several apartment buildings under construction that will add hundreds and possibly thousands of residents to the area.
While new developments typically have underground parking for residents, Tuthill said that often some residents opt to instead save on parking costs and park on the street.
Tuthill said she’ not sure how many more blocks, if any, are in the process of collecting signatures from 75 percent of their neighbors.
“I’ve had a number of people come in over the last couple years and talk about getting it started and it’s gone nowhere,” she said.
While much of Uptown is metered parking, there is still plenty of free on-street parking northeast of the Lake and Hennepin intersection, where lots of development is underway.
The new permit-only parking rules begin Aug. 27.
Here’s a map of the streets that will change to permit-only parking: Uptown parking map