Who says there no shortage of parking in downtown Lansing?

I spent a solid 20 minutes driving around downtown Thursday afternoon looking for a parking space before attending the Lansing City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.

Usually, I take advantage of the row of reserved media spots at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Ottawa Street, but it was filled. Next, I tried the North Capitol parking ramp, which, as some may vaguely remember, was almost sold to Lansing Community College — if only the Lansing City Council had not voted against it. There was a little stand-up sign in front of North Capitol, however, declaring “FULL.”

Next up was the North Grand Avenue ramp, right around the corner from North Capitol. That ramp, too, was full. Not a surprise, though, since its capacity has been cut in half because the part of it that extends over Grand Avenue is being torn down (Thursday afternoon, it was at least partially demolished). To add to that, it was recently revealed that the Accident Fund, which is developing the Ottawa Power Station for its new HQ has been unable to secure financing to build its own parking ramp, which is, or was, part of the development plan.

I then tried the ramp (the name escapes me) at the corner of Seymour and Ionia streets, but that’s private. I finally found parking at the ridiculously expensive Tower Ramp — I mistook it as the Townsend Parking Ramp, which is basically right behind Tower — and paid $10 for just under four hours of parking.

So, with the South Grand Ramp under private ownership and probably about to be filled with State Police personnel, North Grand addled, North Capitol — it seems — filled with LCC students, does that leave South Capitol, Townsend and Tower (all basically on the same block) to catch the runoff? (Also, in this year’s city budget, there was a few million set aside to build a new city ramp, but on the east side of the Grand River.)

Are we heading toward a downtown Lansing parking apocalypse?