We need cars

One thing that makes our winters and pandemics tolerable is our cars. We need free-flowing main arterial streets with parking for our city to be livable. Yes, we should convert to electric cars to reduce pollution, and bicycling is nice, but we cannot do without our cars. And that is why the Minneapolis Transportation Plan is not in the best interest of our citizens.

A main justification for the plan is to fight climate change, but by far most of the driving in Minnesota is done in the suburbs and outstate and they are not going to change to bicy- cles. But the citizens of Minneapolis are expected in the proposed city plan to vastly reduce driving in favor of walking, biking, busing or scooting, and the city plans to install 136 miles of bikeways that I worry will displace much parking and cause congestion on the main thoroughfares. Why can’t bikes use the side streets?

A good example of what is to come is Hennepin Avenue from Lake Street to 36th Street. This used to be a thriving avenue, with ample driving lanes, lots of parking, full-grown trees and places where a car could pull over. Much of this is gone and in its place are overly wide sidewalks, no parking from Lake to 31st and half of parking gone south to 36th, and narrow driving lanes. I think businesses have dried up because folks used to be able to go down Hennepin and park for free. Stopped cars are always blocking the bike lanes out of necessity.

It reminds one of urban renewal. Urbanization is the new place for developers to spend idle funds and they don’t want to provide off-street parking and they want to build in vintage neighborhoods, especially around the lakes. While there should be development, it needs to be done in the best interest of all of our citizens.

Gary Farland