Look ma, no coins!
Minneapolis’ some 7,000 parking meters are nearly ready for the retirement home, and in preparation the city is, ahem, test-driving some new options for their
And yes, many of those new meters will take credit cards.
Earlier this month, workers installed new types of meters at six sites across the city. The new meters will remain for about six months while the city monitors their usage and collects drivers’ feedback.
City spokesman Matt Laible said there isn’t an exact timeline for the citywide replacement. Most of the meters were installed in 1992 and will need to be replaced over the next few years.
Four sites feature multispace meters. That means there aren’t meters at each space, just signs indicating the space’s number, similar to pay parking lots without attendants. Drivers park, walk to a payment machine (usually mid-block among the meters), type in their space number, and pay with coins, bills or — yes, it’s true — credit cards.
Another perk of new technology: Most of the meters will automatically switch between peak and off-peak rates, and will warn drivers in advance of tow-away zones and other parking restrictions.
If you use any of the meters, the city wants to hear from you: User feedback will guide the city’s final decision on which new meters to purchase and install citywide. Call 311 or fill out a short online survey at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/parking.
The testing areas include one block in the Warehouse District, one in Old Saint Anthony, one in Stadium Village, two blocks in Dinkytown and one in Elliot Park.
Want to avoid Greenway robbers? Stay in Southwest
The recent spate of robberies along the Midtown Greenway bike path has led to increased police presence, a group ride to reclaim the trail, and much discussion about the future of the path as bikers’ equivalent to an interstate highway.
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned much, though, is how rare such robberies are on Southwest’s section of the path.
There’s only been one between January 2007 and the end of November 2008, according to Minneapolis Police Department statistics. The majority have occurred on the eastern miles of the path, where it runs through south Minneapolis.
Then again, it’s worth noting two things. Other robberies may have gone unreported. And more importantly, the department’s stat keepers just recently got a designation for the Greenway and not all officers are using it yet, said Chelsea Adams, a Southwest crime-prevention specialist.
If you have information on the robberies, or have questions, you can contact Crime-Prevention Specialist Don Greeley at 673-3482 or email@example.com or police department spokesman Sgt. William Palmer at 673-2896 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where there’s noise there’s a meeting
For Southwest residents still concerned about airport noise issues, there’s a Metropolitan Airports Commission meeting in January.
The meetings are held quarterly, and mostly used as a way for the commission to update the public on complaints, work toward solving ongoing problems, announce changes to airport procedures, and discuss other issues.
In November, 20 Minneapolis residents filed a total of 113 complaints over excessive noise, with the majority coming from Southwest residents. That number’s down significantly from October, when 46 city residents logged 1,140 complaints.
The meeting’s Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. It’ll be held in the Lindbergh Conference Room in the MAC building at 6040 28th Ave. S.
— Cristof Traudes and Jake Weyer contributed to this report.