Monday, December 26, 2011

Free Parking at the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp

I wonder how many people know that the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp was to undergo a new parking ramp system that did away with a live person attendant, going to an Entry Station with Integrated Swipe Pad and Ticket Dispenser. The City announced the upcoming change back in late November. Here is what the new system was going to look like when the new system was to go live on November 30th per city public parking officials:

On November 29th, a communication went out to the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp customers. It said in part:

Subject: 1st Avenue Parking Ramp Upgrades
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 22:30:03 +0000

1st Avenue Parking Ramp Customers,

Thank you for your patience as we transition to our new gate equipment. We have experienced some unexpected issues in setting up our new communication network, which has delayed our live date. We are also waiting for the correct gate arms to arrive.

Anticipated Live Date:
Monday Afternoon December 5th (attendant available)

I was downtown on Thursday, December 22nd and parked in the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp. I was ready to try the new system. As I pulled in to take my ticket for hourly parking, this is what I saw:

No ticket. Gate arm up. Did that mean free parking?  Sure looked like it to me. I pulled into a space in the ramp and went about my merry way. I came back to my car three hours later and drove to the check out lane and low and behold, it was truly going to be a freebie parking day. As I pulled up to the parking attendant booth, this is what I saw:

It's the end of December and the system has not gone live yet. I checked with a couple of people who work part-time downtown and they said they have been parking for free during the month of December. It is kind of nice that the shoppers and restaurant patrons have been able to park for free during the month of December at the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp. Have to wonder what it has done to the parking revenues though.

It kind of begs the question why the public parking facility officials would go ahead and implement the change when they clearly are not ready to go live with their new parking system. The city laid off two employees who worked at the ramp as parking lot attendants. Why not keep them on until the new system actually goes live so you can still collect the daily parking revenue? Someone doesn't have their eye on the ball. People can say what they want about the previous director, but I doubt seriously that he would have let this snafu happen.

Oh well, park for free at the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp, people! A little present from the City during the Christmas holidays.  And maybe it will continue into 2012?  I wonder when it is actually going to go live? November 30th and December 5th have come and gone.


  1. It is free except to those who pay the monthly access fee to park in the 1st Avenue Parking Ramp. I also noticed today how dirty and unkept the Parking Ramp has become in the last month.

  2. Pathetic. We have lost a LOT of money. Who is in charge of this kind of project? Will the press cover this? Nope, too "negative" towards the city. No accountability = no honesty

  3. Enjoy the free parking while you can. ALL parking fees downtown are about to go up. Replacing the river ramp with parking at 8th and Main will cost 9.25 million. The Walker Parking study has this to say about that.

    "Based on the results of our preliminary financial analysis, the Parking Fund is projected to be insolvent and
    unable to support the cost of constructing the recommended capital improvements. This conclusion is
    conservatively based on the assumption that demand levels and parking rates remain “as is”.

    􀂉 In order for the Parking Fund to be able to support a material portion of the recommended capital
    improvements, parking rates would need to be increased at all public parking facilities in downtown Sioux
    Falls. Walker recommends that the City consider increase parking rates over a five-year period in order
    to generate a level of parking revenue that will enable the Parking Fund to fulfill its mission to provide and
    maintain public parking and to improve the safety, convenience, and aesthetics of the public parking system."

    I do not know what the monthly fees are now to park at the 1st Avenue ramp, but do not be surprised when it goes over $80.00 a month....Happy New Year.

    Polly Amalo

  4. That's what you get when you replace career professionals with political appointees.

  5. Polly, or people can spend $2 and take the bus in and out of downtown. Just sayin'

  6. Andy, do you use SAM to get DT? If so, good for you. SAM is able to do the job it does largely because of federal dollars in the form of subsidies. A couple million a year as I recall. Thanks to t-baggers like we voted into congress, that funding, and tens of thousands of rides in SF are in jeopardy.

    Just four years ago it cost $54 a month to lease a spot at the 1st Avenue ramp. As soon as the "new" gear at that ramp is functional, bank on the new and better parking there to jump those costs to $80+ a month. No big deal for a 50% increase in four years in parking fees for banking execs who work downtown. They are hardly ever there anyway. Unless they put parking meters at Minnehaha Country Club...they could not possibly care less. But for the typical retail sales clerk, food service employee, or cubicle warrior, it is a very big deal. They comprise over 95% of those who toil for a living DT. Do you think their income over the last four years can handle rate increases like this? No. Didn't think so. But will that stop Darren Smith and his gang from continuing to raise parking rates? I don't think so.


  7. Hilarious. But no surprise. This is coming from a city who thinks steps into the river is a good idea . . . I mean ledges.

  8. Polly, I do use SAM to get to DT. They do a great job and I meet lots of really interesting people on the bus. As long as it's less than a parking spot I'll take the bus. I actually am OK with subsidizing our bus system because I know the majority of people who ride it aren't choosing a bus over a car, they're choosing a bus over a cab that would cost them 20X as much. I took a ride to the airport in a cab a few years ago. From Sanford it cost me almost $15. I'll take my $1 bus ride and subsidize it as a taxpayer if I know that a demographic can get transportation that wouldn't otherwise get it. I'll fight to keep those rates low too.

    We can't use our tax dollars to gamble on event centers on the outskirts of town and neglect the poor in our community who rely on our buses to get to their jobs. yes, I do plan on mentioning the EC in every comment I make on this blog for the next 20 years.

  9. My idea of the PERFECT city council.

    G. Jamison
    K. Anderson
    S. Ehrisman
    K. Staggers
    C. Rath
    J. Holsen
    A. Traub

    First alernate???

    T. Stanga

    Me, Me, Me, Huether would resign within a month because of heart problems.


  10. "Polly"

    Have you ever been right about anything? Ever?? I've seen you run all kinds of kooky specualtion and predictions on the Argus site and over at Nutty DaCola's and have yet to see any of it occur, so I highly doubt it.

    Better stick to poring over "the Walker parking study" and city salary lists that you waste all your time with, instead of forming opinions and acting like there's any sort of expertise behind them.

  11. My idea of the PERFECT city council.

    S. Ehrisman
    K. Staggers
    T. Stehly
    C. Rath

    LAWL! The city would be better off plucking four randoms out of fourth-floor McKennan. That doesn't even include your alternate... or you as the "visionary" of this "perfect" scenario. You six wackjobs aren't even close to being representative of this city. Sorry.

  12. "You six wackjobs aren't even close to being representative of this city"

    I would agree 110%! First off we are informed, and secondly most of us are not afraid to use our real names when we are critical of government. Unlike yourself, weasel. Now go wipe the Huether poop off your nose and go back to polishing your guns and drinking Busch light.

  13. Why did he list four people then say "you six wackjobs"? Am I wackjob in Anonymous' eyes or not? How am I supposed to sleep at night knowing that someone who won't write their name but demeans me publicly may or may not have called me a "wackjob"? I will not be able to rest until this great pundit and wise councilor clarifies their opinion of me. I cannot find rest until I know.......zzzzzzzz.

    p.s. Use your real name if you're going to attack mine.

  14. "Better stick to poring over "the Walker parking study" and city salary lists that you waste all your time with, instead of forming opinions and acting like there's any sort of expertise behind them."


    You forgot to mention the Walker Traffic Study and each years city budget. That's OK though. None of it really takes much time, unless of course they were the way the city salary pages USED to be. Thanks to the blogs and l3wis, those pages are at least readable now. Do you have a problem with Joe SixPack citizens reading public files? Seems you do. You don't like having citizens know about how the city manipulated yellow light timing? You don't like citizens knowing about the 5 year plan to raise parking rates DT so you have the funding to build another ramp or two? And when CNA crosses the river how solvent will your present parking operating budget be? Not very. That's why rates will go up yet again. You don't like it when citizens can tell you the wage disparity within it's own ranks? You don't like hearing about "spiked" city pension plans?

    Why is that?



  15. ...four (4) randoms out of fourth-floor McKennan. That doesn't even include your alternate (Stenga) (5)... or you (Polly) (6) as the "visionary" of this "perfect" scenario.

    Good grief. Those BIN people were right. It really is all about you, isn't it Traub?

  16. I read this blog daily. Comments that agree or disagree are always enlightening. However, many times comments disintegrate into name calling. If some individuals want to have a "cyber fight", please do it person to person.

    Also, I'm tired of hearing about people who post as "Anonymous". Many of us have jobs that simply don't allow public comment under our names. This is unfortunate, but that is the way it is. Please stop throwing "electronic stones" at each other on this issue.

  17. Your boss can't fire you for practicing your 1st Amendment rights, and I really get tired of that excuse. That is flat out discrimination, even if it is a right to work state. Your political views have nothing to do with your job. If you can't put your name behind your comments, please, just crawl in your chickensh*t hole and shut up.

  18. DaCola...

    Very brave of you. But not all of us have throw-away jobs (like yours) to test your theory.

  19. Did the same person who called for more civility then rip on DaCola for having a "throw-away job"? Yummmmmmm. Irony

    I'm wondering what job won't allow you to voice your comments on-line without retribution? Do you work at 224 W 9th St?

  20. To: Mr. Traub in reference to 12/31 10:52 PM Post

    In answer to your questions:

    #1 - The answer is "NO", so therefore, no irony.
    #2 - The answer is also "NO".

  21. Anon, you arent' very up to date in regards to 4th floor, McKennan. That hasn't been a psych. ward for years. Better get your head out of the sand.