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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Metered Parking Discussion

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In conjunction with the faculty members (or others) need for short duration parking, the use of the available on-street meters has been considered. Information provided by the University showed 51 meters on campus. These are presently priced at $0.25 for 20 minutes with a 40-minute maximum time limit. In our opinion, the time limit being so close to the average class duration makes a tempting reason for students to "take a chance" and attempt to use the spaces to make it through class in the hope that they would be out of the space before enforcement catches them. We feel that on-street meters should be limited for very brief visits such as to pick up or drop off items or short visits to various offices or destinations. Although the present meters cannot dissuade "meter feeding" (which occurs when a patron returns once the time limitation has been reached and inserts more money for additional time), if the time level is shortened it may help to discourage students from parking in the meters if they were to have only a 20 or 30 minute limit. Also, it was related to us that if someone was looking for a short-term space and saw a meter had only a few minutes left they may be inclined to wait for the vehicle owner to return. This could encourage not only high utilization but also high turnover of these spaces that is generally the intent of metered parking.

The lack of short-term parking at meters convenient to the Barnes and Noble bookstore on campus is clearly a detriment. Presently, there are no nearby close convenient parking spaces such as are available at the Maverick Bookstore on Stadium Road where the patron can pull essentially right up to the door. One suggestion would be to place some meters in lots near the bookstore to facilitate short-term parking for those students who wish to utilize the on-campus store. Although we recognize that this may be at the expense of some gold or purple permit holders, it would seem in the University's best interest to do so.