Turning around parking
As public transit ridership has increased in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, Metro Transit has been expanding its network of buses, trains and resources for those who carpool, vanpool, walk or bike downtown or to the University of Minnesota. Last fall, the agency completed a major expansion of one of its most heavily used park-and-ride lots in Minnetonka, Minn. The agency replaced a 188-space surface parking lot with a 750-space parking deck, to accommodate a high volume of transit passengers in the area.
The previous parking lot was overwhelmed with daily commuter traffic and continuously filled to capacity, leaving commuters and visitors to the Twin Cities to fend for alternative options. Metro Transit also needed to improve bus access to the site while complying with building height limits outlined by Minnetonka’s building codes.
Metro Transit contracted with Walker Parking Consultants to design and build a parking deck that would meet those needs. The new design called for a turnaround area for buses and a large canopy under which riders could wait for their buses to arrive. To comply with the height requirements, the structure was built outward rather than upward on the site of the existing lot so the building height would be less than 40 feet.
Completed last fall, the cast-in-place concrete parking deck includes 750 free parking spaces across three levels and serves as a park-and-ride for residents of Minneapolis’ western suburbs. It is easily accessible from the highway along a busy freeway. “The expanded facility will help take pressure off a travel corridor with some of the highest unmet demand for park-and-ride spaces for people traveling to downtown Minneapolis,” says Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb.
Project: Park-and-ride deck construction
Jurisdiction: Minnetonka, Minn.
Agencies: Metro Transit, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Vendor: Elgin, Ill.-based Walker Parking Consultants
Date: Fall 2007