Anoka to add more permit parking options

Anoka is adding a couple of new permit parking options in the city.

Annual permits allow for all-day parking, Monday though Friday, and are mostly geared toward people who work in the downtown.

Ten permit stalls are being added to the Bridge Square parking lot just off Main Street on First Avenue South.

The 46 stalls in this lot, where anyone can park free for three hours, are rarely more than half full, according to Economic Development Manager Erik Thorvig.

Some downtown employees wanted options for parking much closer than the lot off Madison Street between Second and Third avenues, where you can park all day for free, which led to the addition of the permit stalls at Bridge Square.

The annual cost for a permit in this lot will be $208.89 – the same charge for all surface lots and the top level of the Second Avenue ramp.

Five to 10 permit parking spots will also be added to the second floor of the Anoka Municipal Parking Ramp at the corner of Second Avenue and Jackson Street.

Thorvig said there is an interest from people who would like to secure permit parking that is covered, on the north side of Main Street.

Covered parking, also available by permit in the Walker Ramp on Monroe Street, which can be accessed by First and Second avenues, costs $303.16 annually.

Changes will also be made to the 14, three-hour parking spaces behind Courtside and next to the Anoka County Historical Society.

Those spaces will be changed to a two-hour parking limit.

According to Thorvig, parking studies show this lot is typically full from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This indicates these spaces are likely being used by employees who work at a downtown business or the Anoka County Government Center.

Along with approval from the city council, these parking changes are also supported by the Parking Advisory Board, the Anoka Business and Landowners Association and the Economic Development Commission.

These groups felt the switch to two-hour parking would encourage more turnover and allow more use for Jackson Street customers as well as visitors to the government center, Thorvig said.

There are a variety of free two- and three-hour parking options in and around downtown, including on-street, surface lot and ramp parking.

Parking permits are not available daily, only on a quarterly or annual basis.

The least expensive parking permit is $96.41 in the discount lot, located north of city hall.

Parking is enforced in Anoka Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fines are $11 for the first two violations, or $25 for a third violation within 90 days.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]