Urban Fold

Public Transit, Private Parking

High demand for parking spaces at a transit station has prompted one city to consider banning residents of other cities from using the parking lot.

"The council's move is the latest in a battle among the cities. Many Apple Valley leaders resent that commuters who don't pay the extra taxes take up space in the 337-space lot, which routinely fills by 7:15 a.m. A survey last fall of cars parked at the station showed that 59 percent came from outside the transit tax district, according to the MVTA."

"The free permits would be available to residents of Apple Valley, Burnsville and Rosemount, but not Lakeville or Farmington."

"That's because Lakeville and Farmington are outside the transit tax district, in which residents pay extra property taxes for buses and stations."

"Many Lakeville and Farmington residents argue that their regular property and motor vehicle taxes already help pay for transit. 'If it's a public transit facility, it should be open and accessible to members of the public, and Farmington residents, last time I checked, were part of the public,' said Farmington Mayor Kevan Soderberg."

Full Story: Cities battle for parking spaces at transit station



It should be pointed out

It should be pointed out (but rarely is) that the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area, besides being one of the lowest density cities in the world, has one of the most fractured governmental structures in the world, with its 3 million people governed by hundreds of different municipalities and at least seven counties.

The regional planning body, while doing some valuable work, is ultimately toothless in situations like the one featured here, because transit taxing authority is granted by the state and often bypasses that body (the Met Council).

But spats like these are becoming more and more common and eventually the State Legislature (which rarely takes its attention off of tax relief strategies) is going to have to deal with it.

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