Parking Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes Thursday, September 14, 2000
Parking Advisory Chairperson David Cowan convened a regular meeting of the Parking Advisory Committee at 11:08 AM on Thursday, September 14, 2000 in Room 101 of the Centennial Student Union. (A quorum was achieved when Chris Boyce, Student Association President, arrived to serve as the Student Association's off-campus representative.)
Regular PAC Members Present 4 of 6 members
1. Rose Marie Ley AFSCME Council 6, Local 638 Representative
2. David Cowan Administration Representative
3. Chris Boyce Off-Campus Student Association Representative
4. Mikel Akers On-Campus Student Association Representative
Regular PAC Members Absent 2 of 6 members
1. Steve Gilbert IFO Faculty Association Representative
2. Catherine W. Hughes MSUAASF Bargaining Unit Representative
Ex-officio, Nonvoting Members Present 3 of 7 members
1. Sue Edstrom Parking and Traffic Services Coordinator
2. Kate Voight Parking Citation Appeals Board Liaison
3. Scott Hagebak Conference Scheduling Representative
Members Absent 4 of 7 members
1. Christopher Goettl Residence Hall Association Representative
2. Larry Kohanek Facilities Mgmt. Planning & Construction Manager
3. Diane Solinger Residential Life Office Representative
4. David Neve Business Affairs Representative
Others in Attendance
1. C. Rhys Gaffer Student Observer
2. Ian Radtke Student Observer
3. Solongo Tserendabaa Student Worker in Facilities Services ("The Shop")
Meeting Agenda Approved
The Chairperson reviewed a number of agenda items and those present agreed to proceed down that agenda list.
PAC Chairperson's Report
Compared to the beginning of classes last year, this Fall relatively few complaints have been lodged. The number of purple permit stalls has been significantly reduced from prior years and for the first time purple permit sales were capped the Fall pending vacancy studies. The sale of the new Lot 21/22 orange permits ($60 for 9 month permit) is increasing and may be viewed as a favorable alternative to those tired of trying to find an empty space in the Free Lot (Lot 23).
Lot 23 (Free Lot) Continues to Hold Title as "Beginning of the Term" Headache The biggest challenge has been trying to control Free Lot customers blocking traffic lanes and parking on the grass in Lot 23. Parking & Traffic Services had to tow several vehicles to Lot 22 which were blocking drive throughs in Lot 23. The Sign Shop put small wooden staked "No Parking on Grass" signs up in Lot 23 and
The Grounds crew stretched a cable between concrete barricades on the lot's southern end.
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Changing Pedestrian Habits: Ellis Street/Stadium Road Intersection & Paylot Entrance
The re-routing of pedestrian traffic to and from Gage Center has occurred as the result of the extensive rehab of Ellis Avenue and the Ellis/Stadium Road intersection - the entire project appears to have achieved its objectives. The elimination of on-street parking on the West Side of Ellis Avenue (near the paylot) created a third traffic lane reducing congestion in front of the paylot during peak demand periods.
Few Changes: Student Senate's Route #1 Campus Express Bus & PAC's Route #8
The bus routes subsidized by the Student Senate and the Parking Advisory Committee continue to pick up customers. Route #8, which is totally paid for from parking funds, now services James Court apartment complexes (Valleyview Apartments, Southwood Terrace, and Huntington Hills) from 6 PM to 10:15 PM Monday through Thursday. Route #8 remains a 15 minute route and it does stop at the intersection of Warren and Stadium though it does not go all the way through Lots 20, 21, 22, and 23. Route #1 hasn't changed and continues to service the campus core, going through lots 20-23, and goes by the Highland Apartments, Devonshire, Homestead Apartments, Campus Village, etc. "When it's late, take Route 8," according to Student Association President Chris Boyce.
Cowan reported that Mike Hodapp, Chris Boyce, and he had met with Heartland Express Director Loren Ewert in the Student Senate's Conference Room. At that meeting Ewert indicated that though ridership statistics from calendar 1999 were huge those higher numbers couldn't be counted on to garner additional state and federal aid to the City's bus program. Cowan had argued that the PAC's Route #8 should benefit from such subsidies as has the Student Senate's Campus Express Route #1. These costs reflect what was discussed:
Route #1 Route #8
Fall, 1999 Costs . . . . . . . $15,107.45 $ 33,322.08
Less Farebox Credits . . . . ( 6,412.79) ( 3,029.46)
Less Advertising Credits. . ( 244.47) ( 244.47)
Net Fall Bill . . . . . $ 8,450.19 $ 30,048.15
Spring, 2000 Costs . . . . . $ 18,628.88 $ 34,026.08
Less Farebox Credits . . . . ( 8,714.00) ( 3,900.45)
Less Advertising Credits. . ( 759.71) ( 379.88)
Net Spring Bill . . . $ 9,155.17 $ 29,745.75
1999-2000 Payments . . . . $ 17,605.36 $ 59,793.90
During the meeting with MSU personnel and Heartland Express, Boyce indicated to Heartland Express that the Student Senate's student lobbyists would do what they could during the next Legislative Session to get more bus subsidies dedicated to cities like Mankato/North Mankato. Loren Ewert indicated at that meeting with MSU that additional subsidies would not be forthcoming unless the Legislature increased its overall allocation to like bus programs.
"Red Eye" Shuttle Van Program Ridership Update
Chairperson Cowan then circulated a report prepared by Nate Graham, one of two drivers for the "Red Eye" Shuttle, which is a 15 passenger van checked out daily to the Parking Program. Initial reports indicate a growing awareness of the late night and Sunday service to and from the Lot 20a Dar Green Permit Discount Lot. The program is designed to accommodate Lot 20a permit holders living in McElroy, Crawford and Gage residence hall complexes. A cell phone keeps the driver and his customers in contact with each of the three complex desk centers reminding Lot 20a permit holders of the service. The shuttle operates free to Lot 20a permit holders Monday through Thursday 8 PM to 12 Midnight and on Sundays from 5 PM until 10 PM.
Department Purchased Stalls Growing Enforcement Burden
Chairperson Cowan circulated a status report on which departments and organizations purchased parking stalls and if payment for those stalls had been processed. PAC members were told that now these department owned stalls totaled 33, a higher than anticipated number when the PAC first created the program. Sue Edstrom reported that Parking & Traffic Services was being contacted by these departments (i.e., Chartwells, etc.) when violators showed up in such stalls some of these stall owners wanted her to tow the illegal parkers but she refused choosing instead to issue tickets to the violators. Edstrom expressed concern that these stall owners are creating a new burden on Parking & Traffic Services which is not yet up to a full staff complement.
Bicycle Rack Inventory and Capacity Preliminary Report
PAC members then reviewed a preliminary bike rack inventory report prepared by Solongo Tserendavaa. It was noted that the PAC has purchased a few of the newer bike racks, and that Larry Kohanek had found some money in the past to buy a couple of others. Some 56 racks with a capacity of 590 bikes appears not to be enough to accommodate existing demand.
Discussion then centered on what group should be expected to come up with the money to increase the number of racks as well as to replace very old racks. Bike racks oversight has been a bit of an "orphan" though the PAC in 1997 did an inventory and update which led to new purchases at that time. Scott Hagebak believed the PAC lacked jurisdiction and should not be expected to pick up the tab for any changes in the bike rack inventory. Chris Boyce felt that somebody needed to take some interest and responsibility and the only group that had was the PAC.
Chairperson Cowan indicated that the PAC had historically dealt with "transportation" issues and invested in "non-parking" ideas like buses, shuttle vans, intersection changes, traffic lane improvements, as well as bike racks. To parking permit holders who have objected, Cowan indicated that he had simply told them that it was to their best interest not to have more cars competing for parking stalls which was more likely to happen if customers could use alternative transit options.
The PAC agreed to review the material again at its next meeting.
Lot 16 Daytime Green Temporaries
Kate Voight reported that "temporary" Lot 16 daytime green permits had been showing up in Lot 16 green permit stalls. She indicated that she was not alone in assuming that no Lot 16 daytime permits would be sold until comprehensive vacancy surveys were completed. Chairperson Cowan acknowledged that he had issued "temporary" daytime permits which all expire October 1st to those who owned a purple or orange permit. [27 individuals are participating in the month long program, and they, like some 13 others on the Lot 16 gold permit waiting list, will be allowed to permanently upgrade to a Lot 16 Daytime Green or Lot 16 Gold only if vacancy studies support such a move.] Cowan said that, based on his own random studies, he issued the temporaries to fill up what was appearing to be a large number of Lot 16 daytime green permit stall vacancies.
Cowan stated that the existing "permanent" Lot 16 daytime plastic permits had not been sold or issued as the PAC has yet to determine their value. Voight indicated that soon to be completed vacancy studies had to account for the contamination of any "temporaries" caught up in the counts. Sue Edstrom indicated that Parking & Traffic Services would try to finish the vacancy surveys by next week.
All PAC members present agreed that should any vacancies exist during the late hours (e.g., 1 AM or 2 AM) among Lot 16 green permit stalls, then a corresponding number of McElroy/Crawford Lot 20a permit holders would be invited to upgrade to a McElroy/Crawford Zone permit , assuming they paid the difference between the price of the two permits (Lot 20a Discount Green= $58; McElroy /Crawford Green = $130).
Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 12:17 PM.