Parking Expected to Become Easier in Downtown Duluth

By KBJR News 1

April 25, 2013 Updated Apr 25, 2013 at 8:52 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Parking in downtown Duluth will soon be easier.

To improve city parking, $440,000 has been allocated from the city's 2013 capital budget.

A proposed five-year plan is underway to renovate parking ramps and upgrade parking meters in high traffic areas so you won't have to carry a pocket full of change.

The Downtown Parking Advisory Committee will give the East Superior Public Parking Ramp a $235,000 facelift.

"We want it to be an inviting place to park,” Matthew Kennedy, Duluth Parking Manager said. “We are looking at a host of different options for aesthetic upgrades, repairs and security enhancements."

The elevator lobby and stairwell will get a paint job, lights will be upgraded, illuminating signs will be hung and windows will be replaced.

“Our number one goal, in everything we deploy, is to provide multiple payment options," Tony Janowiec of Interstate Parking Company.

There are currently six multi-option pay stations in Duluth.
Five are located in Canal Park; one is located in the upper parking lot near the Duluth Depot.

So far, 65 percent of users are paying with credit or debit cards.

Once they get the hang of it, many say it'll become a preferred option.

"It's easy to use,” Philip Angelo, a motorist said. “You just follow the instructions, push the buttons. It's just like dialing a telephone."

"Quick easy and very affordable,” Trish Kimbrell, a motorist said. “Fifty-cents gets us all the time we need at the library."

Six more of these pay stations will be added this year, in locations yet to be determined.

Starting in June, for three months, 40 of single-meters in high traffic areas will accept credit cards.

You'll still see the same meter head, but in addition to the coin slot you'll have the option to pay with plastic.

"It’s initially a trial period, so that the community can provide responses to how they like it,” Janowiec said. “The pros and cons, they can share their experience with the units."

A plan that is expected to evolve and adapt to the pulse of the city.
In the next few days, the parking committee will launch its new interactive website www.duluthparking.com.