BSU and city need to work together
As I read the Bemidji Pioneer story about the public meeting to discuss parking in the vicinity of Bemidji State University, I was surprised that the university was the only entity being blamed for overuse of the available curbside parking.
Over the years, actions by state and local governments have caused parking to be eliminated on Bemidji Avenue, Lake Boulevard (except very limited permit parking), long sections of Birchmont Drive in lieu of bicycle lanes, 23rd Street and Diamond Point Park.
In addition, there are many stretches on the remaining streets that have seen an increase in the use of yellow paint to further decrease available curbside parking in the area. What parking remains is under regulations that control what hours on what days you can park in which seasons of the year.
I don't believe BSU has decreased the number of on-campus parking spaces and would suggest those spaces have actually been increased.
The news director for a local radio network reported that the ward councilor wanted to press forward with a new regulation so it is in place before the students arrive on campus in a couple of weeks. Or, is the urgency due to the fact that he is a lame-duck councilor having chosen to not seek an additional term on the city council?
To create a new regulation without the support of the constituents it would primarily affect reminds me of our national congress passing Mr. Obama's health care law without having read it. If you have chosen to live in the area, it must be that you embrace living near a university and all it offers (both good and bad). BSU and city officials need to work together to try and resolve this perceived dilemma for the benefit of all.