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Downtown St. Paul Park parking once again under microscope

Restrictive parking signs outside Park Place Sports Bar, SuperMom’s Bakery and Garelick’s Manufacturing are forcing employees and customers to fight for adequate parking stalls in downtown St. Paul Park. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

Less than a year after installing restrictive parking signs along Second Street near Broadway Avenue in downtown St. Paul Park, the city is re-evaluating them.

During a recent City Council workshop, adjacent business owners asked for the removal of the ‘No Parking’ signs along the east side of Second Street, between Broadway Avenue and Seventh Street, and an update to the ‘90 minute Parking’ signs on the opposite side to include a timeframe.

The signs were installed last August following a city discussion regarding safe passage of emergency vehicles and other cars. With drivers parking on both sides of the street, the narrow road became congested.

The addition of restrictive parking signs was also to prevent employees of nearby businesses from taking up customer parking spots by parking on the street.

However, citing a lack of adequate parking stalls for clients and a decline in business, owners of Garelick’s Manufacturing and Park Place Sports Bar said the change has done more harm than good.

Tim Decker, owner of Park Place, said since the signs have gone up, he estimated a 20 percent loss in business. Decker said patrons are “turned off” by the 90-minute parking signs, especially when they come to the establishment to play volleyball or bean bags in the summer.

“The timed parking is not good for my business at all,” agreed Ken Garelick. “We have a lot of people that visit us during the day and we don’t think it’s safe for them to park across (Broadway Avenue).”

Garelick said he encourages his employees, who he said bring in roughly 60 cars a day, to park in a designated lot.

Vehicles from neighboring SuperMom’s, he added, take up the majority of the available street parking.

“They haven’t accommodated for their growth,” Garelick said.

The city is looking at removing the ‘No Parking’ signs from the east side of Second Street, between Broadway Avenue and Seventh Street, and updating the west side ‘90 minute Parking’ signs to allow untimed parking after 5 p.m.

A formal amendment will have to be approved by the full City Council during a regular meeting, which is expected to occur at its first meeting in June.