Just wondering if the north side of the IBM property was used for parking by Mayo Clinic employees, but the south side has so many open parking spaces that are not being used. Why is this not an option?
I’m glad you asked the question, because it gives me the opportunity to dispel the myth that the city’s incentive parking lots are only designed for Mayo Clinic employees.
Although the stops and related routes tend to cater to the needs of the city’s largest employer, they are accessible to anyone who wants to pay for the bus ride and avoid downtown parking fees. Think $4 for a round trip, rather than $14 for a full day at a downtown parking ramp.
Granted, Park & Ride lots aren’t practical for a downtown lunch or shopping spree, but anyone working a 9-to-5 in the heart of the city could benefit from the four locations serviced by city buses.
However, it is unarguable that the park-and-ride system relies on the Mayo Clinic purchasing bus passes for employees to cover costs, and therefore the employer is helping to dictate the number space required at each site.
As for the IBM Park & Ride, the city is currently contracting 350 spaces, which are clustered on the north side of Big Blue.
Nick Lemmer, marketing and outreach coordinator for Rochester Public Transit and Parking, told one of my minions that it’s up to the landlord to decide where the rented spaces are, but the north side is well suited for a quick access to and from 37th Street Northeast, both for commuters and city buses.
He said any decision to lease more space would be made with Mayo Clinic and the owner of the 3.1 million square foot IBM campus, Industrial Realty Group LLC, but current supply appears to closely match demand.
During Rochester Public Transit’s monthly survey of parking lot usage on July 6, there were reportedly 339 cars in the 350 available spaces, but anecdotal reports indicate that cars can regularly overflow into allocated spaces. weeks that do not include a federal government. holiday.
That’s compared to 182 cars in the 245 spaces the city reserves at Olmsted County’s Graham Park.
With the city paying $30 to rent space from IBM, taxpayers are well served by RPT’s efforts to monitor usage and make adjustments as needed. The results seem to rule out searching for more spaces on the IBM site before more spaces are filled.
At the city’s Park and Ride lot near the Chateau Theater in northeast Rochester, where the city rents space for $10 a month, 68 of the 300 available spaces were used on July 6, and at the Rochester Community and Technical College park-and-ride, 55 of the 746 potential spots were full on the same day, according to Lemmer.
If the IBM lot is clearly the most popular, it is equally obvious that alternatives exist without increasing the city’s expenses.
Additionally, the city is likely to see the park-and-ride landscape change in the near future as work on the bus rapid transit system continues, with both private and public parking options planned at each end of the service.
The city is also working to create its own 490-space public parking lot on Northwest 75th Street near U.S. Highway 52, which would use about $1.6 million in federal funds to reduce reliance on parking contracts. long term rental.
Therefore, commuter parking will likely be a changing concern as the city continues to grow and seek new opportunities to help out-of-town employees find the ideal options for that final tie to work.
Send your questions to Answer Man at