Minnesota Cities Say No To Cul-De-Sacs

Cul-de-sacs remain popular with homebuyers (and therefore developers), but some American cities are taking steps to limit or even prohibit their use.

City councils in Oregon and Minnesota have taken action against cul-de-sacs, the court-like bulbs of suburban housing that have been a standard in subdivisions and tract housing since their inception. These cities are calling for restrictions on the development of new cul-de-sacs, citing them as the cause of many problems in suburban developments such as subdivision entrance backups and resulting high road maintenance costs.

"City councils in St. Cloud, Northfield and other communities usually deny cul-de-sacs unless physically necessary. 'All things being equal, we try to minimize them when we can,' says Blaine community development director Bryan Schafer. 'But the market likes them, and people like living on them. Developers like them because they can get more for them. It's a balance.' "

Full Story: Culling the Cul-de-Sacs



Cul de Sac not an either/or question

It's very possible to retain the intimacy of a cul de sac and the access of grid type connections. The street--the motor vehicle access--can be a cul de sac. At the same time, there can be a pedestrian (and bicycle) "cut through" or access to a nearby street. With this arrangement, cul de sac residents can easily walk or bike to stores and transit, without having to make long, circuitous trips.

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