One group of Como Park area neighbors are buoyed by their success in getting St. Paul city officials to limit parking in their residential area after a drive of more than two years. The neighbors organized to push the city toward resident-only parking in the area just west of Como Regional Park and recently overcame what they saw as indifference on the part of officialdom: The parking limits will take effect May 2. The restrictions will be enforced from May through September each year.
“We feel like we’re getting our neighborhood back,” said Val Cunningham, a resident of the area who was active in the grassroots effort to restrict parking to residents only.
The neighborhood was suffering from constant traffic from nonresidents on their residential streets, Cunningham said. Park visitors from outside the neighborhood clogged the streets looking for parking spots beginning about 9 a.m. and continuing through the day, she said.
The problem was at its worst during the State Fair and major holidays, but ordinary summer days drew heavy traffic, noise and litter, she said. “The whole neighborhood ambiance was being destroyed.”
Como Regional Park plans to add more attractions and that potentially means even more traffic for the neighborhood, Cunningham said.
“They want it to be a year-round park, and we felt we had to protect our rights. That became our mantra.”
Cunningham said an unofficial poll and petition drive showed about 79 percent of area residents favored the restrictions.
“People were really interested. There was a lot of citizen involvement.”
Cunningham said she expects residents will keep an eye on enforcement efforts once the restrictions are in place. “We’ll be watching over our neighborhood,” she said.
Under the new plan, resident-only parking permits will be required to park along several streets just to the west of Como Regional Park and east of the State Fairgrounds.
The affected streets include:
- Hamline Avenue from Arlington Avenue to Como Avenue
- Midway Parkway between Hamline Avenue and a point just short of Pascal Avenue
- Frankson Avenue from Hamline to a point three blocks west
- Canfield Street north from Como to a point near the Lyngblomsten Care Center
- Sheldon Street between Arlington and Frankson avenues
Violators may be ticketed and face fines.
Permits carry a $10 fee. Permits can be purchased at the city’s Traffic Operations Building, 899 N. Dale St. First-time applicants must appear in person and show proof of residency, such as a driver’s license. Hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
More information is available online at www.stpaul/gov/ResidentialPermitParking.
Harvey Rockwood is a Twin Cities freelance writer.