Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Continuous Parking Shenanigans in Blaine

Previously, I have covered the challenge faced by the suburb of Blaine in managing parking for its newest city park, Lakeside Commons Park.

The city has decided, after some debate, not to buy a very large new parking lot and slap down yet more pavement… this year, at least. Instead, starting in June, Blaine residents could get a free parking permit for the existing lots. Non-residents could get either a single-day parking pass for $5, or a full-season pass for $20. To park at the park, you must have a permit. But having a permit does not guarantee you a parking spot.

The city hopes that this system will allow them to measure if demand is truly Blaine residents — this is a city park — or non-Blaine residents, treating it more as a regional park.

Parking policy is only being enforced from 10AM – 6PM.

The whole thing is pretty ridiculous, as can be seen if you read coverage of the council meeting in which this plan was developed. The park is hard to access via any means but car, because while Blaine asked developers to set aside this land for park use, Blaine itself is a very difficult city in which to cycle or walk between destinations. There are some very random bike paths that go pretty much nowhere, and much of the city lacks sidewalks. Several major roads also create challenges for even experienced adult cyclists.

It’s another fine example of how poor development choices — even those driven by good intention, such as having housing developers set aside parkland — and an emphasis on vehicular traffic create new issues for cities. By subsidizing parking, even in places intended for active enjoyment, we’re creating a self-reiforcing system of stupid.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

One Comment

  1. Where are you trying to get to the beach from? I could give you a nice bike route from about 90% of the city of Blaine. The only problem areas I can think of are some of the newly developed/developing areas that don’t have the infrastructure just yet.

    I’ve had a much easier time getting around Blaine than most parts of the metro (including Minneapolis). There’s a nice backbone of longer trails, plus a bunch of smaller neighborhood trails. You do have to go on streets for a few blocks here or there, but there’s generally very minimal traffic and very few parked cars. It’s not hip and cool to ride your bike up here, but it is pretty easy.