Bemidji Downtown Alliance Discusses Future of Parking with City Council
Representatives with Bemidji Downtown Alliance met with the Bemidji City Council on Monday to discuss their current plans for Bemidji’s growing downtown. Projects and initiatives were separated into three talking points: public safety, downtown beautification, and parking.
Parking in downtown Bemidji has seemingly always been an issue. Currently, some streets have diagonal parking on one side with parallel parking on the other. The BDA spoke with the city council about a possible study to look at which of the 20 parking zones within the city are relevant in the downtown and what could be appropriate costs for parking permits.
“As much as maybe some of us would like to see a downtown parking ramp or something along those lines, it’s probably not feasible, it’s probably not going to be happening any time soon, so how can we identity some other opportunities in our downtown to find some more parking?” asked Scott Turn, Bemidji Downtown Alliance Co-Chair. “A lot of other communities have been able to have parking on both sides of the street. Now, Bemidji had diagonal parking on both sides of the street at one time, too. I would like to find out, is that something that is feasible again based on codes and things?”
Some members of the council also mentioned possibly using parking meters for lot maintenance funding, but no official action was taken at the work session.