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Mayo Clinic has 17,000 parking spots, and more are in its 5-year plan

At least one of 12 potential new parking facilities outlined in 2021 five-year plan update is in the works.

Drone - Mayo Parking
The Mayo employee parking lot on Second Street Southwest in Rochester. Photo taken March 14, 2019.

ROCHESTER — Mayo Clinic increased the number of parking spaces for its patients, visitors and employees by nearly 16% in 15 years.

The growth in parking, along with the potential addition of new facilities, is outlined in the latest update to Mayo Clinic’s five-year plan as it heads into the first round of city review this week.

The update shows 17,000 designated Mayo Clinic parking spaces exist throughout Rochester, ranging from clinic-owned parking ramps to spaces rented near downtown.

Of the spaces, more than 14,000 are dedicated to Mayo Clinic’s reported 30,276 employees in the city.

“Historically, the estimated demand for and provision of employee parking has been about 50% of total employee (full-time equivalents) on the downtown and Saint Marys campuses,” the latest five-year plan states.

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The plan submitted last year provides a snapshot of activity at the start of 2021 and says more than 13,300 employees used city and commuter buses to get to work, while 840 employees used 280 known carpools.

Additionally, it states 900 to 1,000 employees use city park-and-ride lots, which is the same range reported in 2006.

When it comes to patients and visitors, Mayo Clinic added at least 1,300 parking spaces between 2006 and 2021, with less than 300 of the spaces added in since 2016.

At least one of 12 potential new Mayo Clinic parking facilities outlined in the 2021 five-year plan update is in the works.

Work started last year on a 1,200-stall parking ramp to serve Mayo Clinic and the Discovery Square complex near the intersection of Fourth Street Southwest and Third Avenue.

Other ramps and lots, including the latest proposal of a ramp in Mayo Clinic’s current east parking lot on Third Avenue Southeast, between Fourth and Sixth streets, are less certain at this point.

“Some of these are very conceptual at this point,” said Tim Siegfried, Mayo Clinic’s division chairman of facilities.

Ten of the proposed parking facilities mentioned in the plan were in the 2016 plan, and at least five of the projects have been proposed since 2006 or earlier.

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T he projects listed in the plan are intended to give city planners and officials an look at what could happen in the next five years, not what will happen.

The update is required under the city ordinance that created a 1991 Medical Institutional Campus Special District to support Mayo Clinic development.

The most recent update will be the subject of a Rochester Planning and Zoning public hearing during its 6 p.m. meeting Wednesday, which will be held online with meeting links available by emailing communitydevelopment@rochestermn.gov before noon Wednesday.

The Rochester City Council is expected to hold a second public hearing on the plan when it reviews the update on Feb. 23.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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