Josh Wolsky

This is a Flawed Location for a Transit Center; We Can Do Better!

At tonight’s City Council meeting, the Council will take up the proposed location of a downtown transit center. If you’re not familiar with that idea, that’s a central hub to which all the public transportation routes eventually return. It’s basically a start, and end, and a transfer station to other routes.

The location proposed by the City’s professional staff for Council consideration is inside the Renaissance Parking garage. Locating the transit center there would require elimination of on-street parking in the area to accommodate the stacking of buses.

I’m not a fan of this location for a couple reasons. First, the Renaissance Parking Garage is golden opportunity for redevelopment. That is, after all, what they were designed for. And not only is the garage a golden opportunity for redevelopment, it’s also a golden opportunity for the City to generate some revenue. That could come from passing it along to a developer for a price, or it could come from future property and sales tax that is generated from businesses inside. But putting a transit center changes that reality. Losing all the on-street parking makes development less attractive, and as a result — less likely.

The second reason I don’t like this location is because there is a much, much better one. The site of the former Hall’s Apartments that burned in 2020 is perfect. It’s across the street from a soon-to-be middle school. Do you know who uses City Buses more than most? Middle school students. Do you know what else is right there? LMI housing. It’s also almost smack in the middle between City Hall and the Ward County Administration Building. It’s also owned by a non-profit with which the City has a current working relationship via the Broadway Circle project. It’s hard to imagine a better location.

In light of my strong opinions, I decided to reach out to Mayor Ross & Council members with the following comments.

Dear Mayor Ross &  City Council Members:

I’m writing with regards to the proposed transit center on tonight’s City Council agenda.

Please, slow down the approval process and reconsider the location. The currently proposed spot on 1st Street SW needs a more complete evaluation of costs, especially those associated with lost opportunity costs. And further, a more suitable location is sitting vacant just a few blocks away.

First, with regards to the proposed location at the Renaissance Parking Garage. Encumbering the we-hope-to-be-redeveloped-parking-garage with a transit center that uses all of the adjacent on-street parking greatly diminishes the potential for redevelopment. This is true for both the parking garage and the vacant lot across the street presently owned by Trinity. On-street parking is an extraordinarily valuable resource for the commercial tenants of adjacent property; there is data to prove this. We need to measure fully and better understand what we’re losing before this location is selected. 

Second, there is a better location. The site of the former Halls Apartments on the corner of 2nd St. and 3rd Ave SE is perfect. It’s between the County Administration Building and City hall. It’s directly adjacent to the soon-to-be Central Campus Middle School and LMI Housing in the Milton Young Tower. A transit center in this location would be convenient for all of the above locations and still provide great accessibility to downtown commerce.

Josh Wolsky, Minot Citizen

Josh Wolsky

Developer & Writer @TheMinot Voice, Fan of the Souris River, SavorMinot Advocate. Fortunate to be a 'former' City Council member ;)

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One comment on “This is a Flawed Location for a Transit Center; We Can Do Better!

Edward Geyer

It just baffles me how the city managers think! The reason you built the parking garages in the first place was to have parking places to develop downtown, so now you want to take away the parking spots to park your buses and kill your downtown development!

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