Now the fun part begins. For the last many years I have been warning readers about the misguided efforts of Minneapolis and St. Paul to transform their cities from the workaday towns that became the hub of the upper Midwest into…something else: something where the growth was “smarter” and the new residents more “creative.” Places that look less like the sprawly, automobile-dependent communities that grew up around them in every direction.
Now, as they say, the rubber meets the road, or in this case, doesn’t. The Minneapolis Star Tribunereports on efforts in that city to add 100,000 new residents without adding any additional parking spaces,
When ideas like “smart growth,” “new urbanism,” and “creative class” remain gauzy, feel-good catch-phrases, everyone is happy to get on the street-car bandwagon. But when abstract urban planning theories get transformed into building permits, you start hitting people, well, where they live. Obviously, Minneapolitans are not getting with the program,
Speaking of Dinkytown—a commercial and residential area near the main campus of the University of Minnesota—that area has become ground zero in the effort to “densify” Minneapolis to improve the prospects of mass transit. As the Star Tribune reports today,
For his part, the hotel’s developer is helping Minneapolis fulfill its vision of an ever-more-dense cityscape, regardless of the thoughts of the actual city residents,
Across the river, St. Paul has developed a serious case of bike-lane envy. The Star Tribune reports today,
As St. Paul races to close the bike-lane gap, a property developer back in Minneapolis inadvertently gives away the game when she is quoted as saying,
We? When did we decide that carless was the way to go? I don’t recall that referendum being on the ballot. Even though fewer households than ever are going without cars, city planners see it as their task to deliver a city without cars. And you had better learn to like it,
I’ll be watching this debate play out, parking space by parking space, bike rack by bike rack.