Minneapolis and future Light Rail

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Mark D
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Minneapolis and future Light Rail

Postby Mark D » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:49 pm

It seems that Minneapolis is intent on getting rid of the automobiles in Favor of light rail everywhere. Banning gasoline stations, banning ... Well, I won't be darkening Minneapolis' doors in the future if this comes to reality. The plan is to get rid of almost all cars.
Read this;
I cannot post the entire article because I get an error that this format apparently cannot handle.
The Minneapolis City Council has approved a bold plan that would dramatically increase walkability and other hallmarks of urban living by eliminating mandatory parking that has encouraged car ownership for years.
As part of a larger rezoning that will erase decades of racially discriminatory housing policy, the plan will eliminate off-street parking minimums throughout the city — a reform that would make Minneapolis the third major U.S. city to eliminate such requirements, which are a hidden subsidy for drivers.
A goal of the so-called Minneapolis 2040 plan [PDF] is housing and transportation policy that reduces emissions by 80 percent by 2050. To achieve that, the city hopes to reduce the number of miles driven locally 40 percent.
“That drives us to making every investment that we can on the transportation side to reduce vehicle miles traveled,” Robin Hutcheson, the city’s director of Public Works, told Streetsblog. “We want to be able to develop the city and have developers be successful without having to overbuild on parking, which has happened historically in all cities.“
The elimination of mandatory minimum parking follows similar efforts in Buffalo and Hartford, Conn. The Minneapolis plan also calls for discouraging the construction of surface parking lots, and prohibits new gas stations or drive-throughs citywide.
Auto-oriented land uses — such as auto repair shops — will no longer be allowed near Metro stations.
Most of the discussion of the plan has focused on a rezoning that will allow triplex apartments in every neighborhood — even those formerly zoned only for single family houses, a zoning that exacerbated segregation and skewed the housing market. And there’ll be increased density and even stricter parking restrictions near transit stations.
The Minneapolis effort demonstrates that the issues of housing prices and parking are inexorably linked — and must be addressed together if cities want to be more walkable, more integrated and more affordable. Some studies have shown that mandatory parking spaces can add as much as 20 percent to the cost of an apartment.
“Parking minimums and parking ramps harm our efforts at achieving the elimination of racial disparities, addressing climate change and providing affordable housing,” Janne Flisrand, a volunteer and co-founder of the advocacy group Neighbors for More Neighbors, told Streetsblog.
The comprehensive plan doesn’t make the zoning change — eliminating parking minimums — official. But the law requires that the city’s zoning code match the comprehensive plan. Flisrand is confident that City Council will follow through on the zoning changes. The process of changing the zoning laws to align with the plan will take place over the coming year.
“We envision a future where we all find affordable and secure homes in the neighborhood where we choose,” Flisrand said.
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John Bohon
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Re: Minneapolis and future Light Rail

Postby John Bohon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:23 am

Having never been to Minneapolis I hesitate to answer but I do drive in the City of Chattanooga nearly every day and other larger cities occasionally. It is very clear to me something has got to be done to get people out of their cars. The roads simply will not handle the additional cars coming in the future. Some of the younger generation folks I know have very little use for cars and want very much to live in an urban environment. If they could they would not own a car. That lifestyle is virtually impossible in Chattanooga.

Somehow riding mass transit in this country has become seen as something only poor people should do. I am not sure how or why that came about but it is bullshit. Last spring I was in New Jersey for a long weekend and was amazed at the sight of buses and passenger trains running everywhere and the number of people riding. They see mass transit as a normal form of everyday transportation. I assume it has taken a long time and a lot of investment in something besides more and bigger roads, they have plenty of those too, to get those people out of their cars. While there are parts of the article I am not sure I understand fully I would support such a concept in Chattanooga. Unfortunately we are a little to small for this to work in a major way at this time but as the city grows and the years pass I think it will become almost a necessity at least in some areas of town.

I am not sure why this would keep you from going to Minneapolis. From what I am reading the city is not banning driving in the city and surely it is possible to drive into and out of the city without the need to buy gas in the city. For the visitor they are simply offering the option to park your car and ride into town. To me the city is aiming this objective more at the future citizens of the city and not the visitors. Since those citizens may not be as in love with their cars as ours I think this is some surprisingly good planning. To me looking at and planning for the future is exactly what a government should be doing. Far to often we are stuck with leaders who do not see the future picture and spend their time with their heads up their rear ends living in the past. At the very least I will give the city fathers credit for at least looking at the future and planning. Even if it is wrong they are doing something. It remains to be seen how much of this will work out and future leaders will undoubtedly modify the vision as the needs change.

In a way what this is doing is returning cities to what they were 75 or 100 years ago. Cities were places where people lived and worked and often rode mass transit instead if driving their cars. My guess is Minneapolis once had an extensive system of street cars and people used them in droves. People lived in apartments or small houses on urban streets with everything they needed on an everyday basis found locally. Unfortunately most people in my generation never saw this version of cities or like me grew up in the middle of nowhere and cars were the only answer to transportation. I see the future going back more to the cities of the past out of necessity. Since changes like these are so slow to happen it is doubtful I will live to see the cities of 40 years from now. In many ways I regret that.

John Bohon

Mark D
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Re: Minneapolis and future Light Rail

Postby Mark D » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:49 pm

I don't live in Minneapolis. I was born there and grew up in the Mpls. western suburbs. After I was married and had our first child I knew full well that my kids weren't going to school in the Twin Cites or their burbs. I moved 70 miles west to a small city (Litchfield) that had an excellent school system. It was also small enough so everyone knew you and by knowing you, you become friends.
That has nothing to do with mass transit however. But it shows why I don't want to go to the Twin Cities (Mpls, & St. Paul and their suburbs) If I can't use a car to get to my ultimate destination (The 261 shop)

Oh well, I've been thinking of dropping out of the 261 crew anyway. If I do, I will never have another reason to go there. Lucky for me.
I know that the kids in cities these days don't want to have a car. Many don't even learn how to drive... well that's nothing new - at least half the so-called 'drivers' on the roads today can barely get the car down the street without wrecking.

It wouldn't be so bad if there were an hourly heavy rail from Mpls to Litchfield and back again. BNSF runs right through Litch. But then how would I get from the closest stop, probably a half mile away, from the 261 shop. You can bet that I don't want to be walking that far at night to take the train home. Too many muggers are out.
And, of course, a train to and from anywhere takes longer than a car drive - even adding rush hour traffic.

But all of this is so far out there time-wise that I sense that it probably won't affect me anyway.

Mark D.
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Robert T
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Re: Minneapolis and future Light Rail

Postby Robert T » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:21 pm

With the Southwest LRT running in a few years. I myself might be using it to go to the 261 shop for one their trips. I could park in Eden Prairie, load the bike on the light rail car, and then bike to the shop from one of the stops In downtown Minneapolis, which is just about 2 miles.

To answer John's question, the Twin Cities did have an extensive streetcar network with about 500 miles of track, but it was all converted to buses in 1954. There are two sections that run a few of the original streetcars.
https://trolleyride.org/

Robert T.

Mark D
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Minneapolis and future Light Rail

Postby Mark D » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:31 am

John, the reason I don't like what they're doing is that, from what I have read, is that they are going to rearrange traffic patterns by the use of signals and bus only in a (hopefully fails) attempt to discourage people from driving themselves to where they want to go.
Since I live roughly 70 miles from the Cities, I have to drive. And even if I could take advantage of public platforms of various types of transport I probably would not.
I drive directly to the locomotive shop through downtown Mpls., park my car right outside the door of the shop and get to work. At around 8:00 or sometimes later I walk out to my car and drive home via the same route. I can carry my tools in the trunk of the car, I can put locomotive parts that need work or in some cases made new in the car. I can eat my lunch in my car while I read the newspaper.

Now, if there were a bus that runs out to Litchfield from the locomotive shop on my time schedule and has a place for me to safely stow the stuff I bring I might take advantage of that situation. Not likely to happen though. Cars are SO convenient to use that no other mode of transport can match it for most people. And that is why there are so many cars running in the streets. Mpls. wants to discourage automobiles from entering their city. That's their right, but it will affect me. I'm getting too old anyway, so it won't be long before I don't go there anymore anyway.
Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

Millhouse
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Re: Minneapolis and future Light Rail

Postby Millhouse » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:02 pm

If they do this I might have to leave. I've got too many health issues that I can't do anything about, but I'm still forced to drive a car... I can't walk or bike long distances, just a block is barely possible.


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