Parking Improvement Districts

Over the last year, our research showed that parking is a critical issue in three of the key areas where we’re focusing. This led us to explore Parking Improvement Districts (PIDs) more extensively, something we are continuing further into 2011.  Included below, find links to a few related resources and research on PIDs, as well as the effect of parking and parking disturbances in an area.

Parking Improvement Districts for Chicago

An innovative proposal to manage the local parking inventory, generate revenue, and finance community improvements

Chicago PID (pdf)

Who is Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps, Inc.?

A nonprofit entity, independent of the City of Buffalo, formed to manage downtown Buffalo parking facilities.

Parking Nonprofits (doc)

Request For Quotes:

Legal Services to Create an Organizational Structure to Manage a Parking Improvement District

Parking District Legal Services (doc)

Massachusetts Parking Report

Massachusetts Parking Report (doc)

Parking troubles on University

As light-rail work shrinks parking on University Avenue, businesses say they must adapt or die.

Parking_PP 032311 (doc)


2010 US BID Census Report

This summer we had the pleasure of meeting with Carol Becker, who worked on a national study of Business Improvement Districts. The outcome was the very informative “US BID Census Report.”

The study, conducted by the Institute of Business District Management, the Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration and funded by several member organizations of the International Downtown Association, presents a snapshot of the characteristics of BIDs in 2010 and captures such information as: the geography of BIDs; revenue sources & budget size; governance & board composition; tools for measuring performance.

You can order a full copy of the report from the International Downtown Association online store:

Media Packet – BID Information Resource

This summer, West Broadway worked with a CURA researcher on Business Improvement District research and planning. The work they did benefited the entire collaborative, and they created an outreach packet that includes some information about the work we are doing and Business Improvement Districts in general.

The packet includes information about the following:


You can download the packet here: BID – MEDIA PACKET (pdf)

Small BIDs rely on residents too…

Small BIDs like those proposed for Lake Street rely extensively on residents who consider the improvement of the commercial corridor to be a matter of civic interest. Participating residents may work on committees and directly on Lake Street improvement measures. Like many of our corridor property owners, all of our residents are local voters and their participation adds political weight to the BID’s efforts to obtain financial or regulatory support from governing bodies.

Lake Street Key Tasks

  • a parking plan (the cost of which needs to be shared by the City of Minneapolis) and its implementation, including design and installation of signs indicating parking locations;
  • a corridor stewardship plan, including design of gateway signs, sidewalk cleaning and oversight of lighting maintenance;
  • comparison review and advocacy for changes to improve local business regulations and zoning;
  • administration of Great Streets facade improvement matching grant program;
  • involve residents as well as business interests in attracting investment in additional destination retail; and
  • aggressively market corridor shopping, eating, and cultural venues.

Great Cities Collaborative: Updates

Over the past few months, the Great Cities collaborative has been busy researching and reaching out.

It seems as though there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Special Service Districts (SSDs) and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) – there’s some confusion as to what is what, and what the differences are. Complicating the matters – some of these things vary from city to city and SSD to SSD. Dispelling the myths to create an accurate picture has been a big part of our research. We feel we’ve got a pretty good handle – and have some information about this posted to our F.A.Q. section. As we find out more, we’ll share that with you here.

We’ve been meeting and talking with other BIDs and SSDs, learning about their struggles and successes. How they’ve worked to overcome obstacles is going to be key for us moving forward. For example, we’ve yet to find a BID that has a snow removal service like the SSD on Central Avenue has. Does that mean it can’t be done? No – but we’ll be charting new territory as we find a way to sustain that valued service, if we move forward.

What we’ve been up to:

  • Speaking with other BIDS and SSDs and their struggles and successes.
  • Outreaching to other organizations in Minnesota that are also in the planning process.
  • Meeting with Carol Becker, who has been doing fantastic research with Business Improvement Districts nationally.
  • Outreaching to businesses and stakeholders in our areas.
  • Updating our three-year timeline according to the new information and concrete milestones.

Our next steps are:
(Pending approval of our 2nd year of research funding)

  • Meeting again with elected officials, city staff and with new city officials.
  • Laying out budgets – what will the actual numbers be and what would it cover?
  • Continuing to meet with businesses and stakeholders in our areas.
  • Drawing up ordinances.

Central Avenue – Outreach Presentation


At the end of June, the Northeast CDC held an educational and conversational presentation about Special Service Districts (SSD) and Business Improvements (BID) and their impact on Central Ave in Northeast Minneapolis. The presentation was followed by an open conversation with community stakeholders.

The conversation that followed led to a number of interesting questions, including:

  • What will the actual numbers of a Business Improvement District look like?
  • Are there other Special Service or Business Improvement districts that work with snow removal, or is Central unique in that way?
  • If an administrator is needed, is a Business Improvement District sustainable?
  • What are the expected realistic impacts a Business Improvement District could have?

Over the next year, we’ll be answering these and other questions about the impact of a Business Improvement District along Central Avenue.

the Central Ave Commercial Corridor – Future Planning

Dear Central Avenue friends,

The Northeast Community Development Corporation is hosting an informational conversation about Special Service Districts (SSD), Business Improvement Districts (BID) and their impact along Central Avenue.

The conversation will take place this Wednesday June 29th, 7:30am – 8:30am at Eastside Food Coop (in the Granite Studio.)

I hope you can join us!


Great places: how livable streets make us happier humans

Great places have to be sustainable not just environmentally, but socially, too!

read the full article here:

Good article: Five Reasons Why Business Improvement Districts are Good Public Policy

“These days, it seems that Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are increasingly under attack. While I can only speak anecdotally, I continue to come across communities facing challenges to BID formation, challenges that would have seemed unlikely just a few years ago.

It stands to reason that in the current economic climate, BID formation inevitably slows down as property and business owners express justifiable concern about their bottom line. Yet a wholesale rejection of BIDs is a short-sighted effort to staunch losses that only results in a deeper hole by reducing the resources available to stabilize and enhance downtown communities. Like any asset, downtown requires on-going improvements and investments to compete against newer, shinier shopping environments. Moreover, consumers continue to keep close track of discretionary spending, which means more competition for fewer dollars. It is precisely this cut-throat competitive environment that makes BIDs an extremely valuable tool for downtown in their efforts to attract shoppers.

Here are five reasons why BIDs remain a good option for downtown revitalization.”

You can read the full (and awesome) article here:


Central Avenue Survey Results are in…

The results of the Central Avenue Outreach Survey have been posted. The top three priorities along Central Ave as determined by participants:

  • Winter Services (i.e., snow removal)
  • Graffiti Removal
  • Filling Vacant Storefronts

You can read the full results here: