- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Construction is to start next year on a $10 million parking ramp in downtown Sioux Falls, but that might not be soon enough.

City-owned off-street parking facilities are at 97 percent capacity, when the ideal capacity rate is about 85 percent, the Argus Leader newspaper reported (http://argusne.ws/1UD7mSV ).

“When you’re at 90 percent you should be building a ramp,” said Matt Nelson, public parking manager for the city.

Community Development Director Daren Ketcham said he doesn’t think the problem is insurmountable. However, “It may be inconvenient at some times for some people,” he said.

The city has 2,339 stalls for lease in various lots and ramps. The new parking ramp will add another 600 spaces, but it’s not slated to open until sometime in 2018.

The city double-books some parking spots, allowing people to park hourly in spaces leased to businesses.

“The highest demand for parking in downtown Sioux Falls has been in the evening, as far as customer parking goes,” said businessman Jeff Danz. “It’s nice because it offsets with the available (spots) in the ramps because the working population is not there.”

City officials said that, if necessary, they also will seek partnerships with a church and other entities that have private downtown lots. Leasing metered spaces on streets is another possibility.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure those people that have spots today will continue to have spots,” Ketcham said.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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