When Politicians Try Planning

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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Midway Monitor is delivered free to my doorstep. Big article about the Hamline Midway Coalition trying to figure out what went wrong with parking at the new soccer stadium. Apparently, there’s not enough parking! People are parking without permits in the neighborhoods, illegally parking vehicles in no parking zones, clogging up side streets, traffic tie-ups, running out in front of trains and buses. What the hell, who knew that people would drive to soccer games?
When Cupcake wanted to open a 37-seat restaurant a decade ago, the City required 10 off-street parking spaces, a 4-to-1 ratio; but they approve a 20,00 seat soccer stadium with only 150 parking spaces. That’s not 4-to-1, people, where are all the spectators going to park?
Of course, it’s hard to be too sympathetic. A year ago, the City approved the parking plan and neighborhood groups were upset about it. Instead of 150 parking spaces on two parking lots that would be used a few days per year, they wanted more buildings and even less parking because . . . wait for it . . . fans would Ride The Damned Train. And besides, they have 400 spaces to park your bicycle, in case you’re coming from, say, Afton and need a place to park the old 10-speed. What could go wrong?
Joe Doakes

Given all the wonderful publicity about the Vomit Comet lately, it’s a wonder people didn’t ride the train more frequently.

I live about a mile from the stadium, and on game days the streets in my neighborhood are clogged and the sidewalks teeming with would-be spectators.

Great job, City!