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Old 07-22-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Clearwater, FL
40 posts, read 32,017 times
Reputation: 32

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I'm an engineer working full time in Chanhassen and my company offers some tuition reimbursement that I can now take advantage of. I'm enrolling in a single graduate class this fall at the U, and so wanted to figure out the options for parking. I will be coming from work to the class 2 days a week from Chanhassen which meets at 2:30. So I figured that my options are:

Park in a ramp close to my class: This is convenient but I don't want to do this because since they are hourly rates it will get expensive.

Park in one of the computer lots (lot 37 preferably): this options would be OK as it is only $4 daily, only disadvantage here is a walk to my class or biking if I bring one on my car.

Park on the street in a nearby neighborhood and bike to class: this option would mean I need to bring my bike as a walk would take way too long. I would Park on the street where allowed and bike to class in 5 minutes or so. Obviously this option costs no money.

So what do you think? How long will it generally take me to find a parking spot, are the commuter lots often full? Remember this is around 2:30 in the afternoon and only 2 days a week. Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Mound, MN
267 posts, read 470,605 times
Reputation: 149
Might depend on where on campus the class is located.

Could another option be to find a free street to the East on the Green Line and take the new light rail to campus? That option probably works best if class is along Washington.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:16 PM
 
43 posts, read 118,362 times
Reputation: 49
As somehow who commuted to the U for two of my four years there, I know the ins and outs of parking in the area.

I spent most of the two years parking in Lot 37. Truthfully, if you walk briskly you're only 5-7ish minutes from the Northrop area, which is where most engineering classes are. I only found this lot to be a pain on cold winter days or when the $4 fee was jacked up to $12 for events; albeit that was extremely rare. I don't remember the lot ever being full either. In my opinion, it's your best option if you're trying to get in and out of campus as quickly as possible.

There's another $4 lot (I forget the number) on West Bank between Carlson and the edge of the Augsburg campus, incase your class ends up on West Bank for some reason.

Street parking in the area is extremely hard to come by, and frankly, you're wasting your time if you spend more than 2 minutes looking for it. If you do find a street spot, bare in mind that the cops in the area take parking violations extremely seriously and that you'll surely receive a ticket at some point for a parking law that you weren't aware of. Additionally, with the construction boom in Dinkytown, you'll find yourself driving aimlessly and running into closed streets and pulling U-turns like a pro. So just don't.

However - if you truly desire street parking to save money and don't mind walking (or biking) a tad further, I'll let you in on a secret: You can park on Como Ave. If you follow 15th Ave north from campus to where it ends at Como and hang a left, that entire stretch of Como between 15th & 10th has street parking that's always available because no one seems to know about it. From there, it's about a 20 minute walk to the heart of campus (a pleasant walk too at that), about 5 minutes biking, and during the colder months you can hop on the #3 bus at the corner of 15th & Como (comes every 15 minutes) and ride to campus in about 5 minutes time. While this option is free and pretty easy, I usually still opted to pay $4 to park in the 37 lot because I was usually at a press for time and didn't have time to walk from Como or wait for the #3 bus. If you have time to spare, this could be a better option.

Don't even bother with the ramps. Every ramp on East Bank starts with a $6 base and shoots up very rapidly. There were a few times that I was running late for one class and had to park in a ramp - and had a $10 fee waiting at the exit. Not fun.

TLDR: Forget the ramps, street parking is mostly nonexistent (except at the secret Como area, which is great if you have time), and the 37 lot is cheap and pretty okay.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:49 PM
 
1,666 posts, read 1,062,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWallace View Post
Might depend on where on campus the class is located.

Could another option be to find a free street to the East on the Green Line and take the new light rail to campus? That option probably works best if class is along Washington.
East Bank Green Line station is in front of the Public Safety bldg, a three minute walk from Keller, ME and Hasselmo bldgs where the bulk of the various engineering on-campus courses are held (EE, BMEn, ME, IE plus CSci). But you'd need to drive East of the East Bank to look for street parking and then grab the train back to the East Bank.

You could also consider the Hiawatha Line from MoA, which drops off near the West Bank and take the Campus Connector or the Green Line from West Bank to East Bank (the U will be issuing ToGo cards for free Green Line use between campuses beginning in the fall ... Campus Connectors are free). Speaking of, there is a lot more street parking at the St. Paul campus - more than a few park there and use the free connectors.

Just driving in to the either East or West Bank or St. Paul campuses can be a time sink. Your drive in is off rush hour. Your drive home, however, is prime rush hour.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Clearwater, FL
40 posts, read 32,017 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks for all the replies and ideas, especially MNTwins, you really laid out my options well. Looks like I will probably be parking in lot 37 like you recommend. I don't mind the $4, especially since I may be car-pooling with a co-worker, just wasn't sure if the lots were extremely full or anything that's why I proposed the street parking idea, but yeah I don't want any tickets or to drive around for 15 minutes to find a spot.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:04 AM
 
76 posts, read 105,192 times
Reputation: 51
What about if you're visiting Dinkytown?

There is literally no frigging parking down there and if it is it fills up quick
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
366 posts, read 522,841 times
Reputation: 311
There are buses that take you from the lots to campus, so you only have to walk if you want but you have to wait for the bus, so plan accordingly. You could always alternate, park in the lot for the first part of the semester and then when the weather gets bad, park in the ramp. I usually spent $7 a day in the ramp, versus $4 in the lot. If you can afford the extra $6 a week, it might be worth the convenience but it just depends on your budget!
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:53 PM
 
95 posts, read 86,057 times
Reputation: 17
I did this, bring a bike and park at the commuter lot... you can just bike around quickly.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:40 PM
 
43 posts, read 118,362 times
Reputation: 49
There's no bus from the 37 lot. Walking is the only option. There's a #3 stop by McDonalds on 15th you could walk to, but just walking to campus would be way faster.
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