Minneapolis Eliminates Parking Spots to Deter Driving

The parking shortage in Minneapolis is a lot like the Twin Cities traffic congestion crisis American Experiment highlighted this summer. It’s self-inflicted by politicians, urban planners and environmentalists determined to dramatically alter our lifestyle, especially when it comes to cars.

Turns out Minneapolis drivers have lost 2,400 private parking spots in ramps and lots overall in just the last three years. And Minneapolis officials don’t deny it to the Star Tribune.

City officials have been holding back downtown parking construction for years. Lately they have doubled down, investing in bicycle lanes and approving new apartment buildings with few parking spaces that encourage people to find ways besides cars to get around.

“It’s gotten a lot worse,” said Casey Finne, who lives in a 26-unit building with just five parking spaces in fast-growing Uptown. “We’re kind of worried.”

It’s all about making life for residents and visitors in cars so difficult they turn to alternative modes of getting around, particularly bikes and walking. Some Minneapolis businesses already face chronic parking shortages for customers.

“It isn’t just an issue of getting people out of cars,” said Donald Shoup, an urban planning professor who studies parking at the University of California, Los Angeles. “I think it’s getting better cities, and more affordable cities, and more walkable cities with air that’s safe to breathe.”