Metered parking improvements are made around the Metrodome

There are around 1,700 metered, on-street parking spaces within a few blocks of the Metrodome, providing additional parking for crowds heading to events at the stadium. The meters let drivers buy hours at a time, enough to cover the length of a typical NFL game. However, until now, ticket holders hoping to park in these metered spaces needed to bring a lot of quarters with them on game day in order to pay for a parking stay that long.  

This football season, things will be a lot different. Crews have finished replacing all the old, traditional parking meters around the Metrodome with smart, solar powered parking pay stations. When Vikings fans head Downtown to the first home preseason game tonight, they’ll have the option of parking at these metered spaces and paying for their time with credit cards instead of coins.

Residents and businesses in the surrounding neighborhood will also benefit. That’s because the parking pay stations will have variable parking rates for special events instead of one, unchanging, year-round charge. Because rates can be adjusted for games, some metered spaces will have non-event rates as low as a quarter an hour, making it less expensive for people to use for most of the year. In addition, some residential areas will only have metered rates in effect until 6 p.m. on non-event days.

Ultimately, replacing older meters with the parking pay stations helps the City provide better services economically. About half of all payments are made with credit cards, and that means less frequent trips are needed to empty change from the machines. And since there’s just one meter pay station per side of the block, employees spend less of their work day collecting that money. The meter pay stations also use rechargeable batteries that are solar powered. That saves money that used to be spent on replacement batteries, and also reduces service calls.

Variable rates in place around the Metrodome are similar to ones near Target Field. Drivers planning to park around the Metrodome should look for special event rate stickers on meter space signs to know that there could be different pricing if there’s a game taking place that day.

The switch to multi-space parking pay stations came as a result of a selection process that included written proposals and a six-month field test along Minneapolis streets. By the end of this year, pay stations will be used for around 5,500 metered on-street parking spaces all around Minneapolis.

 

Published Aug 17, 2012

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