MIA parking study delayed for fourth time

The City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee decided Feb. 19 to extend the deadline for a Minneapolis Institute of the Arts (MIA) parking study in the Whittier neighborhood for a fourth time, to April 30.

When the City Council approved the MIA’s expansion in 2003, it came with the condition that the arts organization coordinate a neighborhoodwide parking evaluation to measure the impact on already-tight area parking.

The MIA, Children’s Theater Co. (CTC), Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and the Whittier Alliance are paying for the study. CTC is expanding beginning this spring.

The study was initially to be completed by last July. Another deadline was missed on Dec. 30, and it was anticipated that the March 19 deadline would be missed as well.

This time, the Minneapolis Department of Public Works, not the MIA, asked for the extension. The Department wanted to expand the study’s scope to include Whittier’s Northeast Quadrant and Eat Street, the Whittier part of Nicollet Avenue South known for its ethnic restaurants.

Said City Planner Jim Voll, "It’s my idea that MIA has been diligent in trying to get it done, but it’s the idea of trying to coordinate it into these larger studies that slowed it up."

A new consultant, SEH, Inc., has been hired to complete the study.