Dinkytown

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
TheUrbanGopher
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby TheUrbanGopher » September 19th, 2013, 1:01 pm

That corner lot is my personal #1 on the priority list of Dinkytown redevelopment. The lot is fairly used, but I would assume most of Drunkdonalds traffic comes from (gasp) foot traffic and drive-thrus. I think just taking out the expanded lot and leaving the curb cut on 15th would be supported by most people.

Silophant
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby Silophant » September 19th, 2013, 5:14 pm

For sure. I actually like the sunken, 2-story McDonalds building, and I have no problem with the drive-thru and the small section of the parking lot inside it. I think it's the only access for the little parking lot behind Five Guys anyway, so that access would have to stay. They don't need the expanded section, though. I've been paying attention to the vehicles in it as I've walked by over the past few days, and I've never seen more vehicles there than would fit in the small section, though that small section would be close to full much of the time.

Another question: What's the story on the "triangle park" across 15th from this lot? Is it owned by the railroad? I like it as green space, but I'm curious why nothing was ever built there. It's a small lot, but not too small for a building.

MNdible
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby MNdible » September 19th, 2013, 6:06 pm

It's owned by the University.

Tom H.
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby Tom H. » October 2nd, 2013, 8:31 am

Article in the MN Daily about a free shuttle that the Loring Pasta Bar owner has started running between the 4th St Ramp and Dinkytown. He cited the need to increase access to Dinkytown due to the "hundreds" of off-street parking spots lost to new development. (Never mind, of course, that total off-street parking will increase with the Venue development.)

In any case, I hope that people that ride this shuttle will realize how short of a distance this trip really is, and eventually start walking. After all, the route will run with 5 minute frequencies with a single vehicle. I sure hope that this can nix all the talk about building a new parking structure within Dinkytown itself.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 2nd, 2013, 8:45 am

I'm sure most people are aware that the average wait time (2.5 minutes) is just shy of the 4 minute walk from the 4th St Ramp to the Loring Pasta Bar. Never-mind the drive time added on.

talindsay
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby talindsay » October 2nd, 2013, 8:50 am

We have a fat and lazy nation if people need a shuttle to get from the 4th Street ramp to Loring Pasta Bar.

Google calls it 0.2 miles, it's two blocks on 4th Street. It's so short that when you put in driving directions Google actually recommends that you walk - five minutes by foot, or two minutes by car: http://goo.gl/maps/fftWP

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » October 2nd, 2013, 9:09 am

I'm a little disappointed, but not at all surprised, by the retro 60's motif they've decorated the bus with. I guess that's where the DBA wants to keep Dinkytown, far in the past.

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Re: Dinkytown

Postby Tom H. » October 2nd, 2013, 9:11 am

To be fair, kudos to the Loring Pasta Bar owner for ponying up for this out of his own pocket. It's a lot easier to clamor for the public to build you a parking ramp than it is for you to think up a cheaper solution and fund it yourself.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » October 2nd, 2013, 9:14 am

Also, at the planning commission meeting, the owners of the parking lot that Opus is now developing said that they offered validated parking for various businesses, and lots of them dropped out of that program, including Loring Pasta Bar. Of course nobody's writing that story.

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Re: Dinkytown

Postby Silophant » October 2nd, 2013, 9:23 am

talindsay wrote:Google calls it 0.2 miles, it's two blocks on 4th Street. It's so short that when you put in driving directions Google actually recommends that you walk - five minutes by foot, or two minutes by car: http://goo.gl/maps/fftWP
Even better, you know what else is 2 blocks and 0.2 miles from the 14th and 4th intersection? The former entrance to the UTEC lot, which no one ever dreamed was far enough away require a shuttle. But, I can't complain too much, since it's funded entirely by the business owners.
FISHMANPET wrote:Also, at the planning commission meeting, the owners of the parking lot that Opus is now developing said that they offered validated parking for various businesses, and lots of them dropped out of that program, including Loring Pasta Bar. Of course nobody's writing that story.
Indeed, I went to Vescio's a couple months ago, before the lot closed, and found that they dropped out of that program to start their own where they just took a couple dollars off the meal price if you park in that lot. And, of course, you need to know about it, because they don't advertise it, and you need to tell them before they print your bill, or they'll tell you you're out of luck.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » October 2nd, 2013, 11:22 am

I can't say that I'm rooting for any particular business to go under, but man Vescio's just is not doing anything right.

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Re: Dinkytown

Postby MNdible » October 2nd, 2013, 11:35 am

Speaking of not doing it right, it appears that the pricing at the 4th Street Ramp hasn't been at all tweaked to help out the Dinkytown businesses. If you're going to dinner, you'll be paying $6 to park in that ramp (non-event "night owl" rate). I know everybody likes to rag on cheap parking on this forum, but that price seems too high based on market realities.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 2nd, 2013, 12:16 pm

What's the rate per hour at a meter along 14th between University and 5th between 5-7 PM? Just curious. Seems like they should extend the hourly rate periods to include dinner time on weeknights and weekends, and well into the evening (midnight? 2 am?) on Friday/Saturday. Having a flat $6 fee for 5 PM - 7AM is too high for the quick hitters for dinner and potentially too low to regulate supply for people coming in for an entire evening event/night of drinking/staying over at a friend's place (I'm speculating here because I have no idea how full/empty that thing sits on a regular day). And the weekend 24 hr $6 rate seems lazy.

Yes, the U parking folks should re-do their structure and work with DBA and Minneapolis Parking folks to find the right rates for these time slots.

mhwbkr
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby mhwbkr » October 13th, 2013, 12:39 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Also, at the planning commission meeting, the owners of the parking lot that Opus is now developing said that they offered validated parking for various businesses, and lots of them dropped out of that program, including Loring Pasta Bar. Of course nobody's writing that story.
Ok, I'll write it here then. For years, they offered validated parking that was based on actual usage of the lot by the participating businesses. Customers would get their tickets stamped by the business they patronized, and businesses would pay the HoH folks back at regular intervals, at a discounted rate (I think we paid $1.50 on a $2 ticket). This worked for years. The pull-out came when they switched to contracting with a management company. If businesses wanted to participate, we had to pay a minimum of $200 up front for a pile of tickets. The Book House stayed with the lot up until the last couple months, when we ran out of tickets and were not really inclined to buy more. I think the comment Mr. Bauer made at the PC meeting was mainly a dig at the owner of Kafe 421, who apparently pulled out some time before that. I don't remember him mentioning LPB specifically, so I'd need a source on that. They, of course, mainly do valet, so maybe the increase in cost up front made valet more attractive to them.

Re: the Dinky Bus- I'm probably the only person on here who's been in it. There are about 8 seats. Jason's recouping his costs from cheap advertising (Book House's ad is prominently right next to the door!) I think this is really going to benefit the older crowd, and people who hate walking in winter--the sidewalks here are rarely cleared before the snow becomes compacted. Believe it or not, young people, myself included, can be experiencing circumstances that make a short walk difficult and a deal-breaker to going out.

The U and the DBA are still working on the details. There is a new parking czar who just started this Fall. He is reportedly helpful in all the ways his predecessor was not. They're also working together on letting the lots behind the Dinkydome be used by businesses on non-peak days. This should be resolved soon, if it hasn't been already. They may take away free Sunday parking as well.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » October 13th, 2013, 2:05 pm

I wish this is the kind of journalsim somebody would be doing about this, rather than puff pieces about developers selling buildings they build to management companies. There's so much grey area that can be cleared up by revealing actual facts, but too many people seem to want to rely on hyperbole and anecdotes to make their case rather than actual facts.

mhwbkr
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby mhwbkr » October 13th, 2013, 2:57 pm

Although I think that Daily piece was a poorly conceived and executed article, I do think that the fact that the bigger developers usually sell their projects to out of state investors is an important part of the story. It was something I said to many reporters and most chose not to use that information. I'm pretty sure I related the story of the parking lot's validation to tcdailyplanet (IMO the publication that did the most comprehensive reporting on the Opus project) and I don't think he chose to include that either.

I think the media was/is mostly interested in driving up the controversy angle of this (Nick Whatshisname at the Daily seems to want to continue that), and certain posts on blogs like streetsmn, slate and elsewhere certainly contributed to obscuring the "facts" to a greater degree than the statements made by myself or my co-organizers. Most of our statements were mediated by reporters, whereas others had their own fora to twist the story in whatever direction served their needs.
Last edited by mhwbkr on October 27th, 2013, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 13th, 2013, 8:35 pm

mhwbkr wrote:Re: the Dinky Bus- I'm probably the only person on here who's been in it. There are about 8 seats. Jason's recouping his costs from cheap advertising (Book House's ad is prominently right next to the door!) I think this is really going to benefit the older crowd, and people who hate walking in winter--the sidewalks here are rarely cleared before the snow becomes compacted. Believe it or not, young people, myself included, can be experiencing circumstances that make a short walk difficult and a deal-breaker to going out.
I respectfully disagree. The parking lot now being developed by the UTEC site that served the Varsity and other businesses in the core of Dinkytown was a 1.5-2 block walk from destinations (further to places like Annie's), and people didn't see that as too far. Perhaps some of the sidewalks in the greater neighborhood areas have poor sidewalk maintenance, but in my 5+ years living on campus I never noticed the commercial center or main drags like 15th/4th/University being bad (and I regularly visit for winter sporting events, visiting family, and simply getting a bite to eat). Barring physical impairment, I don't know many young people who aren't willing to make a 2 block walk to reach their destination for food or drinks.

If the sidewalk maintenance is truly an issue for the 3-4 months a year we have heavy snow, I'd put out there that expanding on-street paid parking in response to dwindling off-street supply along with the increased tax base in the area can make for a great source to fund more frequent/reliable maintenance.

Good info on the history of the parking passes, though. And good to see the U is hiring people that are a bit more active in reaching out to local businesses!

TheUrbanGopher
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby TheUrbanGopher » October 14th, 2013, 7:28 am

mhwbkr wrote:Most of our statements were mediated by reporters, whereas Chris Iverson and others had their own fora to twist the story in whatever direction served their needs.
mhwbkr,

Just as you have requested not to be called out by name, I would request that you not call me out by name either. My personal blog is my username on UrbanMSP, and is referred to in my streets.mn author's bio. It's unfair for you to request not being called out by name if you are going to repeatedly do it yourself.

I wrote that article with the best knowledge that I had in the flurry of high emotions, just like SD did at the time. I still stand by my points, as your probably stand by yours.

At this point, I continue to express my opinions while shedding truthful light on the continuing Dinkytown stories. I liked the Opus project, so I wrote about it. The Doran project is the next frontier of the timeline, and at this point, I am still critical of the design due to many reasons listed here. I want to see Dinkytown succeed, much like you and everyone else. I will express my opinions and list facts in the best way I know how in order to see the area achieve that success, however it is defined.

TheUrbanGopher
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby TheUrbanGopher » October 25th, 2013, 12:42 pm

There was a fire in the building that houses Espresso Royale a couple hours ago. No news yet, but my friend took a picture which I will post later.

Tom H.
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Re: Dinkytown

Postby Tom H. » October 25th, 2013, 12:49 pm

Yes, there was quite a parade of fire trucks and ambulances past Annie's while I was eating lunch. 14th Ave is shut down from 4th St to 5th St.


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