Andy Skemp

If all goes as planned, the gleaming hulls of vans, Ford Ranger pickups and Taurus cars, all bearing the University logo, will only create a modest increase in Como Avenue’s daily traffic load.
The University Fleet Service is scheduled to break ground this August for a new garage on 29th Avenue Southeast, directly north of a University hospital warehouse and southwest of a University printing building.
Construction bids closed July 20. However, Bill Roberts, University Fleet Service director, said bids were higher than expected and the University has not yet decided who will be hired to do the job.
The garage, approximately 25,000 square feet, will house most of the University’s 500 vehicles.
Roberts said the location of the garage is expected to add about 100 more vehicles to daily traffic in the Como Avenue neighborhood. The University estimates more than 1,200 vehicles pass through the Como neighborhood daily. Roberts said the garage will not reduce parking in the area.
“There will be a lot outside for employees,” said Roberts, “and all the (University) vehicles will stay in the garage.”
The current fleet service garage in Minneapolis, located on Fourth Street Southeast, is to be torn down to make room for a University parking lot. The St. Paul garage will remain, but will be used primarily for repairs and storing tractors and other lawn care equipment.
Kelley Houlihan, a junior in international business, lives just a few blocks off Como Avenue and fears the new garage will increase the volume of traffic in the area. She said the new garage will not affect her directly, but other residents have reason to worry.
“I don’t own a car right now, but if I did, the traffic would bother me,” Houlihan said. “There are also a lot of kids who live and cross streets in this area.”