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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Assessment

Recommendation

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/planning/masterplan/archives/parking/recommendation.html
  1. In order to provide additional convenient parking on the north portion of the campus, the University should pursue the acquisition of available properties on which surface parking could be developed. Given that this should be able to be accomplished at a much lower cost than structured parking, development of a parking structure is not recommended at this time.
  2. In this same line, future planning for new buildings that could eliminate existing parking should have included in their project budget the cost to replace the parking spaces lost in a structure. This would mean that approximately $8,500 to $10,000 per space would need to be allocated.
  3. Re-striping of Lot 16 should be pursued with the intent of developing additional parking supply within this lot. This could be done over the coming summer months and depending on the re-striping plan followed, could add from 35 to as many as 87 additional parking spaces extremely cheaply.
  4. Allocation of additional green permit spaces to the exclusion of purple permits in Lot 16 should be pursued cautiously. While certainly additional residence students would be accommodated, it would do so at the cost of 65 purple permit parker's (100 currently down to 35 in the suggested plan). There is also the concern that some of the additional spaces could remain vacant during the prime daytime hours as the students are off at work or other activities. Secondly, should the students return during the evening, there is no guarantee that sufficient parking would be available to appropriately accommodate the theatre patron needs for parking.
  5. On-street meter time limits should be reduced from the present 40 minutes to a shorter limit of perhaps 20 to 30 minutes. At the 40 minute limit there is too much temptation for students to take a chance and use these spaces during class in the anticipation that they would be gone before the enforcement personnel come by.
  6. The present parking management model of the parking advisory committee, parking and traffic department and separate appeals board should be maintained. This is a common application seen at other University's and is a viable method of having a series of checks and balances.
  7. The plan suggested of changing the pathway between the Gage Residence Halls and the central campus from the West Side of Ellis to the East Side should be pursued. This would eliminate many of the pedestrian/vehicle conflicts at the entry/exit to the pay lot and would help the traffic flow of eastbound vehicles traveling up Stadium Road desiring to turn left onto Ellis. We don't believe that students would use an elevated pathway since they would likely not climb stairs to reach the bridge connection. Similarly, a below grade pathway would be not only very expensive but would also likely suffer from the same shortcoming of being off the most direct path. Certainly, in conjunction with the relocation of the pathway, appropriate steps will need to be taken to insure that students don't use the West Side of Ellis as a "shortcut."
  8. On Warren between the campus and the apartments to the east and at the Warren/Stadium intersection, traffic control or warning devices should be installed to both slow traffic and alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians. Again, we don't believe that elevated or excavated connections will be convenient enough for student's use. However, should this be shown as possible then this would make the most sense from a safety standpoint. Here we feel that a traffic engineer or campus planner should be consulted who can address the vehicle volumes on the roadways and determine whether at the given capacities whether steps need to be taken to eliminate the pedestrian/vehicle conflicts.
  9. A policy of regular parking rate increases should be pursued with the intent of insuring the solvency of the parking fund. Given that parking operating and maintenance costs are expected to be paid out of revenue generated and not from the General Fund, it is imperative that sufficient money be available to accomplish this mission. In this same regard, we feel that the free parking should be eliminated particularly with the opening of the Taylor Center which would make the spaces in lots 22 and 23 much more attractive. There are costs associated with providing the parking both in lighting and security and with subsidizing the shuttle bus service. Appropriate security, lighting, maintenance and appearance of parking areas become an expectation. Considering that the parking is among the first impressions that visitors and prospective students get of the University, adequate and attractive parking is key.