On of my favorite things to criticize on this blog are parking lots. That’s because for so many reasons — economic, aesthetic, environmental, etc. — they just don’t make sense.
And as it turns out, Minneapolis also struggles with too much parking. According to this article from the StarTribune, that city is trying to figure out how to replace parking with dense development. The idea, apparently, is to double downtown population.
The article explains that downtown Minneapolis has 140 parking lots. The city also has a planned stadium (recalling this post) and wants to increase walkability:
Downtown “is supposed to be the densest, most vibrant area of our city, and when you insert these large … parking lots you diminish that vibrancy,” Keimig said.
“A lot of people I know here come from outside the Twin Cities, and we’ve all sort of had this similar experience where we’re traveling a certain distance, it’s maybe far, but not too far, where we say, ‘If we were in New York, we would walk this, or if we were in D.C., we would walk this,’ but there’s a very subtle thing from a planning perspective that sort of communicates to you that this is not a good place to walk,” Keimig said.
Based on the article, the issues facing Minneapolis are not altogether different from those facing Provo (or a multitude of American cities, actually). But the takeaway here is that downtowns are increasingly for people, and decreasingly for cars. Provo can either lead during that shift, or wait until it’s too late.