MINNEAPOLIS - Visitors to Uptown are finding new parking restrictions on surrounding neighborhood blocks.
Residents of those streets requested the changes.
"I was involved with the petition drive and we got over 75 percent of the signatures needed to get this in place, so most people were ecstatic," said Steven Reinemund, Girard Avenue resident. "The quality of living has improved dramatically on the street in the last few weeks."
The city's Regulatory Division installed new signs indicating that the blocks require a resident permit to park. The council approved the changes on Aug. 9 and the restrictions began at the end of the month.
Council member Meg Tuthill said her office has only fielded one complaint about the change, although a number of $30 tickets (with a $12 surcharge) were issued the first week.
"The challenged is that Uptown has matured as a destination," said Marcus Genzlinger, Executive Director of the Uptown Association. "We have a lot more stores now, a lot more offerings and that has brought more people. So, we had to find solutions for that."
The solution was to add blocks to the areas where only residents and their guests with permits can park. The latest restrictions mean that the block of Girard Avenue South from 31st Street to 32nd, 31st Street from Girard to Fremont and Knox Avenue South from Lake Street to 31st; have the permit requirement during the days and evenings.
Frequent parkers like Patrick Brennan of Minneapolis will be finding a new location for their visits.
"It is pretty hard to park in this area, anyway, because there is a lot of entertainment around here and it can be real hard finding a spot to park sometimes, but then, I appreciate where the residents probably get sick of us coming in," said Brennan.
Reinemund called the change "fantastic!" He is a new father.
"We just brought home our first born this week and so, having the peace and quiet with the permit parking has been a huge improvement in the past few weeks," he said.
The Uptown Association pointed out that there is parking in the area at Calhoun Square and the new Mosaic building ramp, as well as a number of existing lots. However, that is pay parking. The neighborhood street parking had been free.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)