Urban Fold

Can Minneapolis Shed Its "Car Town" Image?

Minneapolis is mired in a debate over the role the automobile should play in the city's mobility mix. Many neighborhoods want to reduce surface parking and ease minimum parking requirements, but people still view the city as “a car town.”

Minneapolis seems stuck between a car-dependent past and a future of increased walking, biking, and transit use. Caught in the middle are city leaders and planners, who are working to loosen parking requirements and reduce surface lots while facing complaints over reduced availability.

"Striking a balance between too much and too little parking is a growing quandary, particularly as more residents bike, walk and take transit while also holding onto their cars," writes Eric Roper. Despite astonishing growth in the percentage of trips taken by bike, transit, and on foot from 2000-2010, the percentage of carless households in Minneapolis actually declined during that period.    

“The first reaction of most neighborhoods would be that there’s not enough parking,” said Ted Tucker, president of the city planning commission. “But the trouble with that is, of course, the city may devote too many resources to parking automobiles and not enough to making life pleasant for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Full Story: Minneapolis seeks more people, not more cars

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