Canal Park parking has been … um … streamlined

The Duluth News Tribune reported on Monday that rates have changed at three parking lots in Canal Park. Two examples are the Northwest Iron lot (between Grandma’s Saloon and the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace) and the Lighthouse lot (near the lighthouse pier). The minimum rate is now $3 for three hours, up from last year’s $2 for two hours.

The DNT notes:

Parking Operations Specialist Mark Bauer said the city decided to make the changes to streamline the parking process.

“Instead of trying to interpret and guess how much time you’re going to be there, we thought it would be easier to just simply pay for this three-hour block of time,” Bauer said. “It simply covers you up to that three-hour limit.”

There has been no word yet on whether hotels in the area will be streamlining their processes by invoking a three-night minimum stay or whether bars will enforce a three-drink minimum for customer convenience.

The cost of a ticket for an expired meter is also going up from $12 to $15.

Bauer said the increased cost of parking tickets is not meant to raise money for the city. Rather, he said, it is intended to encourage people to comply with parking laws, which he said are an important part of keeping local businesses healthy.

“Businesses … really rely on turnover of parking spaces,” Bauer said. “It’s an important element to be able to have people visit their businesses, to be able to come and go from businesses, rather than having someone who parks in the space and takes it all day long.”

So, to review: The parking-rate hike simplifies the process of holding a space longer, while the parking-ticket increase encourages the turnover of parking spaces.



about 9 years ago

Increased parking tickets may not be intended to raise money, but I'm sure that the new three-hour minimum rule is. Say I come and only want to stay for an hour but have to pay for three hours, and then leave after one hour as planned. Then the next car comes along and parks in my spot and has no idea the spot is paid for, and pays for its own three hours, even though I already paid for two of those hours. Now the city just made an extra $2. Multiply that over the hundreds of spots the city has down there, throughout the summer and you've made quite a bit of money. I would love to see how many hours the average spot is paid for on a busy summer day. I'm sure it sometimes happens that spots are paid for for 20 hours by multiple users over a 12-hour period.


about 9 years ago

We were just there recently and I did not like the new parking fee structure at all. We were with grandparents. The kids wanted to play in the fish fountain and take some pictures. We stayed maybe 30 minutes at the most but paid for three hours. I thought the same as the person above, "I just paid $3 for this parking spot and someone will come along behind us and not be able to use the time like they would if it were a meter. They are going to pay $3 again for this spot." What a great way to make many dollars per hour on a single spot. On leaving the lot I noticed the hotel across the street is offering $2 parking for the hours of 11-3. Next time I will take that option.


about 9 years ago

I got hosed in Canal Park just the other day when I wanted to pick up some food at Saigon. I had to pay $3 to park for 15 minutes because the parking nazi was making the rounds as I pulled in and I didn't want a ticket. To say the least, I was irked at the minimum 3-hour requirement.

But you know, when I think about it, the logic makes perfect sense! While I am at it I'd like to "streamline" my grocery shopping experience too. Sometimes I only need milk, or TP, but it would be much easier to simply pay $20 to enter the supermarket each time, regardless of what I buy (as long as it is not in EXCESS of $20 worth of groceries). That way" I am covered" and I won't have the difficulty of figuring out how much a gallon of milk costs.

BTW, Mark, does it help businesses if I refuse to go to Canal Park because the minimum parking fee is stupid ("stupid" not being my first choice of words, but hey, this is a family blog)? 

Also, Mark, is it "healthier for businesses" to have 6 people come down to Canal Park for 30 minutes each, most likely to make a quick purchase, or to have one person park in one space for three hours?

Greed and spin doctoring is not so easily veiled in such a thin mesh of failed logic.


about 9 years ago

People go to Canal Park?


about 9 years ago

"People go to Canal Park?"
Sometimes for Duluth Pack, but very rarely in the summer, now even more rarely.


about 9 years ago

15 years ago  we would park downtown and walk across to canal/decc to avoid parking fees, now I just park in the east end for free and take the lake walk into canal. Maybe they're trying to encourage carpooling and alternative forms of transportation. You can only fit so many cars in one canal.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

To clarify my satire, I'll mention that I personally think it's acceptable for the city to charge whatever rate maximizes its profit. If the rate is too high, people won't pay. If the rate is too low, there won't be any open parking spots.

The clumsy attempt to justify the rate hike as something other than what it is, however, should be held up for ridicule.


about 9 years ago

Yeah, I've rarely heard such an infuriating line of BS as that reasoning. If you've got the legs for it, park in one of the lots off Railroad Street, where the price is either reasonable or free depending.

K. Praslowicz

about 9 years ago

Biggest BS is that the money taking machines are designed to not refund money. I got two bills into my three bill minimum when it decided that no more bills in my wallet were good enough to eat. Cancel the transaction and the shitty robot keeps the money.


about 9 years ago

I was just down there picking something up. Don't tell anyone, but I didn't pay, I assumed the person who left the spot just before I got there probably had a good hour or 2 left on that parking space. 
Livin' on the edge, baby.


about 9 years ago

I parked in front of Endion Station last night. Used the infuriatingly complex new machine to buy parking. It took my dollar and gave no change, which should have paid for 2 hours of parking, but since I'd only punched the one hour button, it only gave me one hour, and I got a ticket after I'd been there about an hour and a half. So I paid for two hours of parking and didn't get it and got a ticket for the extra half hour which I had paid for. If I want to contest it, I have to go downtown and pay to park again.


about 9 years ago

Free market at work, bitches!
Seriously, I usually park elsewhere, and walk.


about 9 years ago

It turns out you can appeal a ticket online. I did, and they dismissed it.

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