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Scott Neal, July 24, 2012 | Scott Neal
I snapped this photo as I was driving into work today. Don’t worry. I was stopped. I was west bound on 50th Street about a block west of France Avenue. In order to see what I’m going to write about today, you will need to click on the thumbnail to see the photo in a larger scale. Go ahead. I’ll wait……
There is a guard in the parking lot at 7:45 am on a Tuesday morning. The guard is guarding parking stalls. The stalls in this lot are split between the Lund’s grocery store and the retail stores in the building on the east side of the lot, which includes a Starbuck’s, a Breadsmith and an Edina Liquor Store, among others.
The fact that one of the property owners who use this lot (and I am not going to out which one, even though I think I might know) has hired a guard to protect their parking stalls for their customers is a message. It’s a strong message that parking stalls are precious. They are important to control. They are important to protect.
City staff have been working all year, and a good part of last year, to come up with a plan to add to the parking capacity of the 50th & France business district. We are looking at everything from improving the management of the existing number of stalls to the creation of new stalls. The guard is an example of the former. The latter is really expensive, but we’re still looking at a range of that kind of solution, too.
The success of the 50th & France business district has created this “problem”, which I’ll use in the quotes because it’s a problem that most cities wish they had. We’re fortunate here not only to have this problem, but also that we have a smart and resourceful group of property owners in the 50th & France area to help us figure out a solution.
We will figure this out. And when we do, it will be interesting and successful.