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East Superior Street Parking

It seems to me that in recent years, with the additions of Zeitgeist Arts, Black Water Lounge, Carmody Irish Pub, Tycoons, etc. (not to mention the fabulous new product additions at the Last Place on Earth) the area surrounding the NorShor Theatre has gone from being a really easy place to find a parking spot to one where you either have to get really lucky or park in a ramp.

I mention this mostly just to stir up the pot so people can bitch about progress, but I also want to throw out two observational questions:

1) Are you like me and fear parking in ramps because so many TV shows and movies when you were growing up had scenes where people get ambushed and shot in parking ramps?

2) Doesn’t it seem like kind of trap that the Sheraton ramp is free at night … until 2 a.m.? So, you know, go get drunk — the parking is free. But make sure you move your car before you get a cab home.

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16 Comment(s)

  1. 1) No. Closed-circuit television. I mean, you can still totally get ambushed and shot, but you can rest easy knowing that your killer would probably get caught. Unless they were wearing, like, a mask.

    2) The “Casino Ramp” is actually owned by the city of Duluth and managed by the Interstate Parking Company.

    You can park on First Street. Or other ramps. Or on the avenues.

    adam | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  2. It’s been getting more and more difficult to find spots on First Street and the avenues — believe me, I try.

    It is still possible, but on weekends I find myself walking four or five blocks instead of one or two. (Similar to the popular phrase “first-world problems” we have “Duluth problems.” Oh, wah, I have to walk four blocks in order to park on the street for free. So, yeah, I’m bitching about it and then taking it all back at the same time.)

    Paul Lundgren | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Normally I don’t believe in superstition or magic, but I always just remain confident that I will find a good parking space and I almost always do.

    Even if you have to pay for the ramp, it’s absolutely nothing compared to a DUI.

    I’m not afraid of ramps, but I am afraid of guys in fake-leather jackets who look like they could be stand-ins for John Travolta in Welcome Back, Kotter, because that’s what all TV criminals looked like when I was a kid.

    Barrett Chase | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  4. Every woman in America is taught: DO NOT USE PARKING RAMPS IF YOU ARE ALONE.

    emmadogs | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Parking is the same, no-win situation by the YMCA (or was until I switched gyms), and a similar, free parking ramp is verboten.

    emmadogs | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  6. I usually use parking ramps, unless I’m going to spend less than 10 minutes somewhere — in which case my Parkma (a form of karma that allows for an open spot in front of the destination based on how “good” you have been) usually gets me pretty close.

    TimK | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  7. When I worked down where you are talking about I would often ruminate about how much it sucked that people never wanted to park more than a block away. Parking in a ramp? Heck, that’s like parking in another state.

    I was also annoyed that people thought of the “casino” ramp as being owned by FDL Band and somehow a place they didn’t want to park in for that reason.

    I was pretty bitter about parking back then. But it is a car culture kind of thing, too. Walking is good for small business. That stretch of road there is I think still one of the longest stretches anywhere that has no national chain stores. As far as I know there are still no big chain stores between the salon in the Weiland block and the new Walgreen’s on 12th Ave E. Big chain stores like big parking lots.

    wildgoose | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  8. I try to be aware of my male privilege but I have to admit I did not know that women were taught to never park in parking ramps. That also sucks. Violence against women also sucks. Whoa. I can’t stop using the word “sucks.” Maybe it’s the slushy snow (which also sucks,) maybe it’s just a general malaise. Maybe it’s the divisive election season. I don’t know what for, but I think I’m definitely having a kind of sucky day here (which sucks, too.)

    wildgoose | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  9. The city should really change the signage down there at the Casino Ramp. I’m sure there are more people than just me who refuse to park there because they think of the association with the casino and drive right by it and into a nice pothole now that they aren’t paying the city.

    Also: whoever said women are taught not to park in ramps. YES, this. And also not to walk on dark streets (like say Michigan street). Or in front of sleezy places where inebriated people are hanging out (hello Last Place on Earth).

    Not a heck of a lot of good options.

    kerc | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  10. I parked in the casino ramp for the first time a few weeks back just because I had some validated parking for it. The whole structure just seems very cramped, and portions reeked of cigarette smoke, which is what I thought of it as like prior to parking there. I could totally see why women would not like to use places like that.

    In the First Street ramp by the Sheraton you usually can score a parking spot by one of the elevators for quick get out of the rampness and it is spacier then the casino ramp so better lines of sight. I’m not a woman and so yeah I’m speaking out of the privilege I have but 9 times out of 10 I’m on East Superior after 5:30 that is where I’ll park.

    edgeways | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  11. It turns out there may have been more cars on the streets in the past week because the ramp by the casino was closed for concrete repairs.

    And, as good timing would have it, the ramp reopens tomorrow.

    Here is the news release from the city of Duluth:

    City announces East Superior ramp opens Friday, Oct. 26

    The City of Duluth is pleased to announce, after a temporary closure for repairs and cleaning, the East Superior Street Public Ramp will reopen for parking tomorrow morning.

    Some highlights of the work completed during the closure are as follows:

    * Replaced two large areas of significantly deteriorated concrete, totaling about 400 square feet, on the top floor of the facility.
    * Repaired one weight-bearing column and two weight-bearing haunches.
    * Repaired 20 ceiling leaks throughout the facility.
    * Repaired 2 pipe leaks.
    * Machine swept entire facility.
    * Pressure washed all levels.
    * Painted parking space lines throughout the facility.
    * Cleaned elevator cab glass and the interior of the elevator column glass.
    * Patched and painted west wall of the attendant booth.

    Earlier this month, the following elevator performance repairs also were completed at the ramp:

    * Replaced elevator door gibbs and adjusted doors.
    * Replaced door locks.
    * Replaced door operator belt.
    * Replaced stop roller on the door operator.
    * Replaced bearing block assembly on the door operator.
    * Replaced door clutch rollers.
    * Replaced contacts on the cab gate switch.
    * Replaced starter contacts.
    * Replaced burned-out bulbs.
    * Lubricated jack packings.
    * Cleaned cab top and pit.

    Additional aesthetic enhancements will be completed over the coming weeks and months while the facility will remain open to the public.

    Taking this info into account, however, I’ve been noticing fewer spots on the streets and avenues for a quite while, not just in the past week.

    Paul Lundgren | Oct 25, 2012 | New Comment
  12. A trap? Definitely not, you get to park there for free for nine hours (which until recently has not been an option in any downtown ramp that I am aware of) and if on occasion you have to pay to park overnight, suck it up and pay. In the situation you mention, you are the one that would be making the decision to move the car while drunk when you could just let it sit over night, please don’t imply that such decision making is somehow forced on you by the evil parking ramp. Or you could just plan ahead and take a cab to and from your destination if you think you are going to get that drunk.

    It really bothers me that people complain about walking three measly blocks instead of getting to park right in front of their destination, it takes what, an extra 5 minutes? Personally I am really appreciative of that parking ramp (yes, I’m a woman and I still park in it) I think its been a great addition to downtown and I am much more willing to go to that area knowing there is always parking available. If you have been paying attention to the planning overhaul of Duluth’s parking situation you’ll find that they are trying to get the people that will be spending hours at one location to park in the ramps for cheep or free, and have street parking be more expensive, to encourage short term parking on the street. So, you better get used to walking a few more blocks. And besides, you get a head start on burning off a few of the calories from one of those beers you just drank at Tycoons.

    wskyline | Oct 26, 2012 | New Comment
  13. Cause bitching is what its all about, eh?

    Thomas | Oct 27, 2012 | New Comment
  14. I wasn’t parking in the ramp because the jack packings were just too tight.

    spy1 | Oct 27, 2012 | New Comment
  15. I prefer to park further away on the street to parking in a ramp. I just don’t like them. I get too claustrophobic in them.

    Claire | Oct 29, 2012 | New Comment
  16. I got trapped in the Sheraton ramp last night. I misplaced my ticket. So I pressed the button for assistance over and over, getting increasingly upset that I’d have to leave my car there and catch the bus or a cab. Luckily, someone finally answered the buzzer and let me out. I think I’ll park on the street from now on.

    Claire | Oct 31, 2012 | New Comment

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