ST. PAUL NOTES | Plans for new parking at Snelling and Selby


After we published “Snelby” residents seek commercial/residential balance in St. Paul, Craig Blakely contacted us with a correction and details on the plans for parking at the intersection. The parking plans drawn up by the city’s Planning and Economic Development (PED) department and Ryan Companies, the developer. Two PDF documents (attached below) explain the plans in detail. In brief, here are the highlights:

“[T]he City could help “solve” the parking problem at Selby and Snelling by establishing a Parking Improvement District that comprehensively managed on-street parking and comprehensively improved off street parking …

“At the request of a large majority of the property owners in the area, the City Council would create the Selby-Snelling Parking Improvement District (PID) … Within these boundaries the City would manage on-street parking for customers by installing pay parking … The City Council would also create permit parking for employees… The City Council would also be asked to dedicate the new revenue stream from the pay parking (net of expenses) to the Selby- Snelling PID that generated it to fund the operations of a “free” customer parking lot on the east side of Snelling leased by the City from Ryan Companies, with the balance of the costs being equitably assessed on the benefitting commercial property owners in the area. The City would then contract with the SSABA to operate and maintain the public parking lot, which would be enforced by tickets instead of towing.”

And the theory behind the plan:

“Contrary to popular belief, there is no free parking. Someone – the City and private owners — always pays to develop, manage, and maintain the parking. Because parking is a system that includes on-street and off street parking, any “solution” needs to improve both the enforcement of parking on the street, and the quality of the off-street parking. Price is the most efficient way of allocating supply and demand, and without some price mechanism (whether in the form of pay parking and/or parking tickets), customer parking will be lost to residents and employees parking in valuable customer spaces, forcing businesses to pay for parking in the form of lost sales. Improving the quality (appearance, lighting, and safety) of off street parking is the most efficient way of increasing its utilization. …”

Obviously, there’s a lot more to the plan — which you can find out by clicking on the PDF documents and reading them in full. They have diagrams, maps, and pictures, and they’re pretty easy to understand. And for details on the entire development plan, see “Snelby” residents seek commercial/residential balance in St. Paul.