One more free day in Canal Park

Parking meter on Lake Ave. Note the May 15 start date.

If you think that Canal Park belongs to Duluthians and not just to the tourists, you have one more day to freely utilize that right. Emphasis on the free. Paid parking goes in effect this Sunday, at  least at the meters and presumably at the paid lots as well.

Stroll the piers. Gawk at a 1000-footer. Deconstruct the meaning in public art. It’s your birthright, Duluth.

For today, you don’t have to worry about the gatekeepers at the hotel parking lots and their clipboards.

You don’t yet have to worry about the eager tow companies in the private lots, who will boot, tow, or just flop upon every car whose driver heads to Coldstone before hitting Caribou Coffee.

Toss some rocks at the beach at the corner of the lake. Enjoy your city. Without a roll of quarters in your pocket.

28 Comments

Blazer

about 9 years ago

"Stroll the piers. Gawk at a 1000-footer. Deconstruct the meaning in public art. It's your birthright, Duluth."

The little things in life, right?

doubledutch

about 9 years ago

Nice.  This is my kind of psa.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

It's our birthright all right ... except for skateboarders.

(I beat Adam to it!)

canalpark

about 9 years ago

Just don't forget that parking along Canal Park drive is limited to 2 hours YEAR ROUND even though the signage isn't very adequate (the city says it is though). Just because those kiosks aren't there the police will still ticket you.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Damn, guess I got lucky when I went to see Elton John, I parked on Canal Park Ave all evening. Thanks for the heads up, Andrew!

canalpark

about 9 years ago

The monitoring of Canal Park Drive is sporadic over the "off-season" but if you get caught it kinda ruins your day - It only applies 8:30 am to 5:30 pm - for what you probably paid for those Elton tix you should get free parking anyways - BTW the kiosks are back up today.

adam

about 9 years ago

Luuuuundgrrrreeeeennnn!

I think the electronic parking box system is a sham designed to fail.

Claire

about 9 years ago

I never park in the lot next to Caribou anymore, after hearing all those horror stories about people being towed.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

By putting meters in Canal Park, aren't we basically making parking the same as downtown? I'm not understanding why this is a big deal...

lucy

about 9 years ago

I like to feed the sh** birds

adam

about 9 years ago

It's not the same. They use an electronic parking meter box that requires you to find it, put money in, and then put the receipt on your dash. A little more cumbersome than plugging a meter.

Jethro

about 9 years ago

The meters downtown are bad for a lot of businesses, and the ones in Canal Park are just as bad. I worked in a store on Superior Street and customers were always complaining about parking. I got more than a few tickets, including ones I didn't know about until they sent me the first warning/extra fee letter.

Guess what, City Council - the mall and stores in Hermantown have plenty of parking, and they don't have cops in $40k little cars whizzing around giving people tickets all day, either. Great way for the City of Duluth to extend the harm they're doing to downtown to Canal Park... nice plan, guys. 

If I recall correctly, one of those advisory boards that came and gave suggestions to the City suggested that they remove the meters.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

If there weren't meters downtown, every parking space would be full, taken by the people who work there.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

The stores in Hermantown and the mall also have acres of wetland they paved over to create said parking, which leads to all manner of ecological nastiness. Cheap land = abused land.

Blazer

about 9 years ago

Disgruntled parking rant, by former owner of the 2nd most ticketed car in the US (statistically):

So these 'electronic' meters that Adam speaks of - another example of bureaucracy designed for profit, under the guise of convenience. Talk about one step forward, three steps back.

I spent some time in Auckland, New Zealand in 2006, and the majority of their meters were designed for us by the business worker or shopper, with ease of servicing and convenience in mind - basically the mantra was the more welcome and comfortable people felt in the business district, the more money would be spent, and both public and private sectors would flourish alike.

Anywho, they had meters that you could swipe your credit card or text a code from the meter to your phone, and the meter would give you a text warning when time was running low, with the option of re-upping the meter via your phone. Profits were obviously rolling in (from legit meter times), and frowns were on the out (obviously, there was a very low occurrence of ticketing, and in turn, little money spent on meter maids).  People were happy, parking was not an issue, public services were trimmed to a necessary minimum and businesses flourished. 

Turn the clock back a few centuries to the Duluth model, and your taking steps backward in convenience, aggravating parking users, stirring up conversations like this and repelling smiles and income.  Personally, after paying out $335 in one year to some asshat mob collector in Trenton, NJ, do I ever want to park at a meter again Duluth? No.  End of story..

David Beard

about 9 years ago

If you don't want to park at a meter, park in the lot.  Pay as you exit.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

I do agree that the whole "park your car, walk to a kiosk, pre-pay, then walk back to your car to put the ticket on the windshield" is a pile of crap. I have no problem plugging a meter in canal park, but I've never used one of those stupid kiosks, even when I do park in the kiosk zone.

Claire

about 9 years ago

I've used the kiosks once in Canal Pk, it's a total pain in the ass. Solution: ride bikes to CP. And, whatever you do, don't park in the lot next to Caribou!

Jethro

about 9 years ago

"If there weren't meters downtown, every parking space would be full, taken by the people who work there.

Bad Cat!"

This assumes 1> The employees have no interest in people accessing the business 2> the owners have no control over the employees parking 3> there is no other method of control 4> was this the case in Canal Park before the meters?

Two hour limit free parking would solve that problem, so would employees/owners caring about where they work, which they do. So no.

"The stores in Hermantown and the mall also have acres of wetland they paved over to create said parking, which leads to all manner of ecological nastiness. Cheap land = abused land.

edgeways"

Not the point. The point is that in downtown Duluth, which has already been paved over 100 years ago, the competition has lots of parking where some deluded government is going around trying to give customers tickets which balloon into $60 and license suspensions if you don't pay them.

The lots are not very convenient. Look at the Tech village one - it faces some forlorn section of 1st street? Great. Then there's that other one where bricks fall on your car.

That useless park by Allette would make a good parking garage. Or that useless commercial space across from the Tech Village. I'm sure Duluth could do *something*, and instead, they extended the harmful meters to what used to be the best shopping area.

City of Duluth is pretty dense, not surprising since so are it's citizens. I won't miss you at all, Duluth.

adam

about 9 years ago

Goodbye and good luck.

Lisa

about 9 years ago

Funny - so many comments making out as if the meters have not been in Canal Park for YEARS (intentional shout).

They have been - only enforced during tourist season - same for the lots (though more pay lots now than in the past with the influx of hotels and other businesses). It does ensure turnover for those spaces.

Suggest if you have issues with expired meters and the subsequent tickets that you set an alarm to remind yourself to head out and a) move your car or b) add another quarter. Take some responsibility for your actions rather than acting as if it is someone else's fault on this one.

I do miss the days when you could use any manner of silver coin in the meters though. 

Trust me that employers have little control over where their employees park (unless they offer them subsidized parking). Americans are lazy and will strive to walk the least distance possible to get to work, shopping, etc. I know I have been guilty of cruising the block or parking lot for a close spot a time or two, especially when I had small children.

There are times I wish the City had a "resident" parking permit for the lots near the Lakewalk, etc allowing for a few hours free parking. After all, our tax dollars (as well as many other folk's) have gone into paying for those amenities that we have a hard time accessing come tourist season.

Patty

about 9 years ago

If you really don't want to pay to park, try parking at Leif Erickson park; no meters in their lot, and walking (yes, walking) to the Canal area.  Or, park in Lakeside and get on the Lakewalk - it will take you to Canal Park.  Now, I realize this won't work for people on a time schedule, but if you're really watching the clock, you won't get a ticket either.

Paying to park is an unavoidable pain, but necessary.  The city needs money for so many things, parking in commercial areas is just a good way to raise some funds.  Most other cities have parking fees/meters or some other form of paid parking.  

Don't park in the Caribou lot, or your towage fee will be even worse than a few quarters for the electronic parking machine!

zra

about 9 years ago

What does a spot in a garage in NYC run you a month? How about Seattle?

Until we hit that level of scarcity of space, bitching about parking (and what it costs) is totally moot.

adam

about 9 years ago

Does the city still give tourist parkers mulligans?

Claire

about 9 years ago

Zra's got a point...I was just in SF, and parking is **ridiculous** there. Even the Twin Cities has ridiculous parking costs, I parked in downtown St Paul and it was like 25 cents every 10 minutes on the meter. Jesus Christ, I could not even believe it.

Gary

about 9 years ago

Usually I drive out to Park Point with my kayak and then paddle back to Canal Park.  Just tie 'er up to the pier.

zra

about 9 years ago

Missoula is notorious for giving out polite little notes to folks letting them know that they've parked wrong.

Andrew O

about 9 years ago

I agree about the Kiosks..  What I hate is that there is no parking in front of the Fetus anymore.  Is that a fire zone?  Are they expecting fires?  The other weird spot is in front of Fitger's and the large loading zone for a not that large hotel.  

I like the way the idea in New Zealand, my problem is I never have quarters.  A card run meter would be really great. Also, why can't you park in the spots behind Luce' at night?  Couldn't some downtown companies make parking free in their lots during off hours so more locals could go out to eat or to a bar? If they leave their car there past 3am it is towed...

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