Roseville to regulate street parking during fair


Roseville will put temporary on-street parking restrictions in place near Minnesota State Fair park and rides this year during the 12-day event. The move comes in response to resident complaints about parked-out neighborhood streets. (courtesy of City of Roseville)

Council will wait to see what works

Roseville is moving forward with plans to put in place temporary on-street parking restrictions during the Minnesota State Fair to ease the parking squeeze on residents.

Roseville’s 14 park and ride locations, with many running throughout the dozen-day fair, in recent years have been overflowing onto nearby side streets, making residents feel like they’re getting parked out of their neighborhoods.

The Roseville City Council on June 17 received an update on the parking plan from Public Works Director Marc Culver, who, at a meeting a month prior, was directed to look into how temporary parking restrictions would look within a quarter-mile radius of the city’s park and ride lots.

Culver said a mix of single-side and both-side no parking restrictions that run through the fair will be posted on temporary signs within the quarter-male range, using other natural and logical boundaries as well to inform the posting. He said it would cost hundreds of dollars to buy the signage. Single-side bans would move parking off the sides of streets with mailboxes.

The fair is more popular than ever — some 2 million people visited it last year, a record — while at the same time at-fair parking is being developed into new attractions, reducing the availability of on-site spots.

At the council’s May 13 meeting during the discussion on parking, Culver said nice weather on an opening day of the fair can mean parking lots are full by 9 a.m. Even before the designated parking is full, he said, some folks opt for the side streets.

The park and rides are clustered around Roseville’s border with Falcon Heights, which is home to the fairgrounds, and spread up through its commercial corridor in the area of Rosedale Center.

While some people who spoke to the council in May and others who responded to a city mailer following last year’s fair said they enjoy, in a neighborly way, being able to offer parking, others decidedly do not.

Residents told the city both in response to the mailer and during the May meeting that they were fed up with blocked mailboxes, blocked driveways and clogged streets, raising not only convenience concerns but those of safety. Choked streets make for blind corners and limit the movement of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.

Those who spoke out were most concerned with overflow parking related to locations at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Hamline Avenue and Calvary Baptist Church on Lexington Avenue.

One woman who lives behind Lexington Park, near Calvary Baptist, took the hardest stance at that May meeting.

“We receive no compensation for this, no one asked us if we wanted to live in the middle of a parking lot,” she said. “All we get is the aggravation part of it. I don’t understand the community part of it.”

At the June 17 meeting council members said they were eager to see how parking restrictions for this year’s fair will do, though some were skeptical.

“I do think this is going to have unintended consequences in that when you take a street that has parking on both sides [and ban parking on one side], and you have state fair people there, our own residents are going to lose the ability to park on their own street,” said council member Lisa Laliberte.

“I don’t know how you resolve that,” she continued. “But I think that you will have just as many people upset during 12 days because they, at the end of summer, can’t have a barbecue and have their guests park there.”

Council member Bob Willmus countered that folks who live near park and rides aren’t throwing barbecues anyways during the fair.

“So at least they’ll have an opportunity to get their mail,” he said.

Other council members stressed that the city will wait and see how this first year of restrictions works, and tweak them as needed.

 

–Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. 

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