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Mayor Mike Seminary Proposing Parking Meters

4th Street - Downtown Bismarck July 2014
Cars parked in downtown Bismarck

Newly elected Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary is working to overturn a 1948 statewide ban on parking meters, insisting that local municipalities should have the freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to use such parking devices.

According to a Bismarck Tribune article, the use of parking meters to leverage additional funding might jeopardize some federal financing eligibility for road projects. Seminary argues that the additional revenue stream could offset the loss of federal funding.

Currently, downtown Bismarck street parking is free; however, all vehicles must be moved during peak hours within a specified time frame. On most blocks, vehicles can also not re-park on the same “block face” within the same four-hour time span.

To help ease parking issues in downtown Bismarck, a new $13-million parking ramp recently opened earlier this month, bringing the total of public-use parking ramps to four (Third Street, the Parkade, and the Galleria being the others). Much of the available space in the parking ramps is not open to hourly parking. The construction of at least one other new public parking ramp has been suggested.

The Tribune article cites select lawmakers’ reaction to the proposal, with the overall reaction seemingly neutral.

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