Minneapolis Eliminates Parking Requirements Citywide

Minneapolis joins the avant garde of cities implementing a dramatic overhaul of the parking requirement status quo that has been a primary determinant of the form and function of cities for nearly a century.

2 minute read

May 19, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sam Wagner / Shutterstock

"The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously Friday to eliminate minimum parking requirements on new developments citywide," reports Zoë Jackson.

The new citywide parking requirements are set to take effect this week after the 13-0 by the City Council. The change also "makes Minneapolis the largest Midwest city to abandon parking requirements and one of just a handful in the United States," adds Jackson.

In addition to removing parking requirements for new development citywide, the ordinance "also includes an increase in bicycle parking requirements and will add new travel demand management (TDM) strategy requirements to more buildings, including every residential building with 50 or more units."

Jackson notes that although parking requirements have been eliminated, developers still have the choice to build parking with new developments, just with more flexibility.

City Council President Lisa Bender offers a soundbite in the article that ties the parking reform vote to climate and emissions goals set by the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. As for the advocacy that helped bring this historic moment to fruition, Jackson provides this anecdote:

Minneapolis Planning Commissioner Chris Meyer has been pushing for the elimination of parking requirements since he was a student at the University of Minnesota in 2011. In 2015, he bought 13 copies of "The High Cost of Free Parking" by Donald Shoup for each council member. Later that year, minimums near transit were eliminated.

Minneapolis is in the lead in the parking reform movement in the Midwest, but several other U.S. cities have already removed parking requirements, like Buffalo, San Diego, and San Francisco. Houston and Los Angeles removed parking requirements in specific neighborhoods. Nearby St. Paul is in earlier stages of reconsidering the parking requirements in its zoning code, as detailed in a Planetizen post from earlier this month. Other cities around the country are at various stages of the process of removing some or all parking requirements, including Berkeley, Dallas, Seattle, and Raleigh, among others.

Friday, May 14, 2021 in Star Tribune

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Traffic on the 405 interstate freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California

Report: Bike Lanes Can't Make up for New Roads

If California wants to meet its climate goals, the state must stop funding its myriad road construction and expansion projects.

September 29 - Streetsblog California

Late evening view of downtown Minneapolis skyline with stone bridge in foreground

Minneapolis Affordable Housing Project Largest in 20 Years

The city opened its first large multifamily affordable housing complex in decades, but a recent court ruling against the Minneapolis 2040 rezoning plan could jeopardize future projects.

September 29 - Minnesota Public Radio

Close-up of vertical PARK sign on multistory urban parking garage.

NYC Mayor Proposes Eliminating Parking Minimums

Mayor Adams wants to stop requiring off-site parking for new buildings to reduce the costs of construction as part of the ‘City of Yes’ package of zoning reforms.

September 29 - StreetsBlog NYC

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.