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Parking to tighten in both downtown areas

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More people. Fewer places for them to park.

MPR reports that while Minneapolis and St. Paul have been actively seeking new residents to live in their downtowns, both cities are taking steps to reduce the number of parking spots.

In St. Paul, the city is condemning a 55-spot parking lot used by residents of Market House, a Lowertown condominium. The city promises to help residents find permanent parking spots.

St. Paul wants that land for the new Saints Baseball park. By the time it opens in 2015, the Saints stadium will eliminate 250 parking spaces in Lowertown. The Central Corridor will be complete when the ballpark opens; many of the 7,000 fans expected for every game are expected to take light rail. The city says there are more than 11,000 parking spaces within six blocks of the site, with most taken by downtown's 9-to-5 crowd who will be gone by the time baseball fans arrive for evening or weekend games.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis is targeting surface lots around the Metrodome for development. City planner Beth Elliot said that the lots will not be missed because they sit near transit stations.

"Usually when you overbuild parking, people park," she said. "But if you make parking and driving just a little bit more difficult, and you give people plenty of other options, for taking transit, or walking or biking to their job, they'll say, 'We don't need a car.'"

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