St. Paul businesses face parking troubles from ongoing construction projects

Hairstyling is one of Patty George's specialties, but she's ready to pull her hair out over the parking situation at her hair studio, Salon George.

"They are taking up spaces for our businesses...there isn't even parking on side streets available. There's nothing available," said George.

Located off University Avenue in the South Saint Anthony Park neighborhood, construction is underway on two nearby apartment buildings.

George says it's brought hundreds of workers to the area who are snapping up all of the street parking for most of the day, making it hard for her customers to get to her.

Other nearby business owners say it's not just annoying, it's causing a safety issue.

"The clients that we see are in pain...trying to maneuver through blocks of walking here, it's very difficult, " said Dr. Mona Robbins of Soul Logic.

These are private projects, so the city of St. Paul can't tell workers where they can and can't park.

George was given orange parking cones by one of the construction companies, but the city made her take them down because they are a violation.  

After weathering a tough year, George says she just wants her customers and employees to be able to get to her business safely.

"It has changed the trajectory of the area, and it's been gentrified. They are taking away small businesses, they are taking away what's going on with the community," said George.

One of the construction companies said they are committed to resolving the issue and have told their subcontractors to leave room for business parking.

The city of St. Paul said they offered to assess the area for two-hour parking. George would be OK with that if it was temporary but says that wasn't an option given to her.