Minneapolis Kicks Out Disabled Parking for Bike Lanes

If you harbor any doubts about how far urban elites will go to force their environmental agenda on everyone else, check out the latest from Minneapolis. Bike obsessed city planners are kicking citizens with disabilities out of their designated parking spots on the street in order to create more bike lanes in North Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reports.

Since 2015, Patricia Fox has had a reserved parking space in front of her home in Minneapolis because of her multiple sclerosis. But this year, her parking space will be moved to make way for a bike lane.

“[This] is the ultimate insult of someone who has trouble with mobility being vacated from a spot that helps them function in society by making way for able-bodied bikers,” Fox said.

No surprise a federal grant got the protected bike lane and slew of pedestrian upgrades off the ground. City planners admit there’s a trade-off but that that’s the way it goes.

The plans on Fremont and Emerson will displace disability parking spaces in front of Fox’s home and two others.

[Minneapolis Transportation Planner Forrest] Hardy said city employees worked with affected residents to find alternative parking.

Fox said moving her parking space across the street poses safety hazards. The MS that weakens her muscles can make crossing the street hazardous.

“If the parking spot is across the street, then I’d have to jaywalk because I don’t trust myself to not fall,” she said. “I have [fallen] before by walking down to the corner and crossing legally.”

The reaction in the paper’s letters to the editor section was predictably one-sided in favor of more parking spaces and less bike lanes. For example:

What is up with the city of Minneapolis deciding a bike lane was more important than a woman’s parking spot in front of her house when she has multiple sclerosis? And relocating it ACROSS A BUSY STREET? Deplorable. Brenda Steinberg, Minneapolis

This is supposed to increase livability in our beautiful city. For whom? Surely not people who own a car and want to live in the city. Surely not bikers who have to manage riding around cars parked in the street. This is crazy. With increased density, off-street parking is a must.  Yvonne Mullen, Minneapolis

City planners likely look to force public transportation and discourage vehicle traffic in the downtown area. Unfortunately, numerous instances of assaults, robberies and injuries on buses, rail, stops and stations discourage that option for many of us. They simply are not a safe alternative…   Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis

Another reader warned that bike lanes constitute a serious public safety threat to ambulances in some areas.

Minneapolis is a city of bike-lane overkill — verging on murder. I recently rode in an ambulance from the east side of St. Louis Park to Abbott Northwestern Hospital. We took Lake Street the whole way. The driver informed me that he used to go 28th Street but that now because of the bike lane the street is too narrow for cars to move out of his way and he gets backed up. Lake Street, while busier and slower, has enough lanes for the cars to move.

So, the next time you call an ambulance, you’d better hope you don’t need to get to the hospital really, really fast. Or better yet: Should you happen to go into cardiac arrest, just ride your bike there.  Sandy Davis Lerner, St. Louis Park

The ratio of reader letters printed in the paper generally reflects the overall number and opinions received by the editors on a given issue.  Not that the planners at City Halls will let a little thing like public opinion change their minds.