This my own view.
At one time there may have been areas where it was difficult to find parking in Brainerd MN, however there is plenty of parking both on and off street at most places
I am totally against new parking (on or off street) in Brainerd, Baxter, and most other places.
- parking is enormous waste of land
- It can lower property values.
- in the case of school district taking land over from others (for parking) it becomes off the tax rolls.
(with the city and its entities taking the biggest hit, with the county and school district also losing money).
- It also creates run off problems which in turn can make:
- water pollution
- flooding problems
- minor flooding already exist during and after rain (some people might just call them giant puddles that are in same place all the time) at schools existing parking lots/sidewalks because of poor drainage planned.
- On and off street parking can make it more difficult to walk and bicycle:
- On street have to watch for cars more pulling out and block view
- parking lots have to watch for cars pulling out of driveways
- many times to walking/biking through parking lots is needed just to get to businesses and other places.
My solutions to reduce parking needs are (mostly in order of importance):
- walk (jog, run, or use assisted/accessibility device) /be a pedestrian. get exercise, save on pollution
- Use small wheels (roller skates, skate boards, strollers)
- use data commuting to avoid actual commuting. (Do things online like billing banking movie rentals, by phone, and sometimes mail to save on driving)
- Take the bus (for students school bus, for those that live in Brainerd, baxter and other places served take city/county bus). The more people that take the bus within town, the more it is able to pay for itself.
- Car pool or take taxi
I personally use these solutions all the time but I somewhat have to because my disability makes it difficult to ride in an automobile. But it also saves a lot of money, better for environment, better land use, keeps me in better shape, and overall causes less problems.
As an ISD 181 staff I biked or walked to and from work everyday (not quite everywhere) without using a parking spot (other than the bike rack which takes less room than a single spot for all bikes). I also implemented a portion of Bike Walk Fun curriculum.
The Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment board that I was on from October 2010 to December of 2016 we implemented the scattered site replacement program with the assistance of Healthy Community Partnership Housing Task Force and others. this was able to bring back properties on to the market by demolishing vacant substandard housing and selling them to Lakes area Habitat for Humanity, homeowner, or a developer. This brought new affordable housing that exceeded standards including green building standards to our community. This also allowed the properties to be put back on the tax role.