March 32nd, 2113 – Met Council releases new long-range plan, called DriveMSP 2140


Skyline from Stone Arch Bridge - now featuring fast moving vehicles.

Skyline from Stone Arch Bridge – now featuring fast moving vehicles. Also, I think I can see the IDS Tower in the middle.

(Headline from the Minneapaul Star-Pioneer)

It seems like the glory days of the 1950’s aren’t gone entirely, after all.

After years of changing the form, density makeup, and streetscape of Minnesota’s largest population base, the Metropolitan Council has released their long-range plan, DriveMSP 2140, must to the excitement of the general population.

“It really is about time we changed our archaic, 21st century thinking“, said Stacy Margingham, the Met Council chairwoman and figurehead of the MAP-22 movement in the region, at a press conference Monday. “Words such as vibrancy and sustainability, as we all know, are mundane and outdated.“

Although speculated for some time, the city of Minneapaul, along with the 3 supercounty metro area, have collaborated with the Met Council to come up with a plan that will benefit the continued outward growth of the region.

“For years, our developers had destroyed the beautiful blighted ruins of the original cities, and planners favored these goals. Can you believe how many precious parking lots were ruined because of this?“, Margingham said. “I believe the DriveMSP 2140 plan will certainly fix and destroy the ideas of the past.“

The DriveMSP plan calls for the continued growth of the region to the sound of outward sprawl onto greenfield, lane expansions every ten years, and continued focus of economic disparity throughout the region. “We were really narrow-minded thinking that various people in different economic classes could co-exist“, said local economist David Wastfulson. “After years of growing that notion, myself and a few others have decided that it just simply failed. Now if you excuse me, I need to go back to my 9000 square-foot house surrounded by electric fences in my neighborhood of similar dwellings.“

State records show Wastfulson is a resident of the booming 7th ring suburb of Wilmur Cliffs.

After a century of long-range planning which favored the inner cities, DriveMSP 2140 is focused on creating as little investments in the actual combined city of Minneapaul, but rather the towards the livelihoods of the suburban family.

For years, the former cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul grew on the interior, and many investments in transit and non-motorized transportation were in motion. Developments that favored  shops fronting the street and which built little automobile parking infrastructure grew from nowhere. Now, after years of that type of planning, it seems the region wants change towards the “glory days“ of the 1950s.

Martina McCried, a local member of Minneapaul Exurbanists for Sustaining Sprawl, or MESS, agrees. “It is hard to believe how little our grandfathers lived off of“, McCried said at recent Met Council public meeting. “When I think of them walking the streets of Minneapolis or St. Paul, going from shop to shop not in an automobile, it makes me cringe. I can’t believe how much they inconvenienced themselves for so long.“

The movement called New Urbanism started in the 1990s and grew slowly. For nearly 30 years, the movement was still a hip, youth-oriented term only coined by the counterculture “hipsters“ of the times. It wasn’t until the roaring 2020s when the New Urbanist movement kicked into gear.

For more than five decades, growth of the inner city thrived as families moved from the suburbs back into the cities. The city density of Minneapaul grew with the demand, and after the zoning code was revised in 2039, large mixed-use apartment buildings built with no parking requirements were king. People gave up their cars in the name of environmental change and health, and many lived near where they worked. Government-funded transit projects overtook roadway projects in 2056.

It wasn’t until the OPEC-sponsored “Study on Global Warming and Personal Well-Being“ was released in 2078 and the notorious Anti-Energy Crisis of 2180 when many had a wake-up call on their living ways.

“I remember the day when Saudi Arabia released that report,“ said Nancy Setherland, commissioner of MNDOT. “Everyone just turned to one another and thought, ’gosh, do I feel dumb’.“

Although criticism is coming from Republican groups fighting to save & invest into the many transit systems already in place, Margingham hopes that the DriveMSP 2140 long-range plan favors the new mindset of most Minnesotans.

“It is time to reflect and realize that the automobile is the champion of the American way“, Margingham said. “It is time to reflect and realize that we need to shift our walking-oriented ways and rely more on the magnificent creation that is the car.“

Although requested by a number of people, DriveMSP 2140 does not address flying cars, but Margingham stated there is no need to fret.

“Our best analysts have figured that the flying vehicle won’t be available for mass production until well past 2150,“ she said.

Chris Iverson

About Chris Iverson

Chris Iverson is a transportation engineer & planner for the City of Bellevue, WA and currently lives in Seattle. He holds degrees in both Civil Engineering & Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota, and worked on a myriad of transit & multimodal transportation projects in the Twin Cities. He is a former Minnesota Daily columnist, RAGBRAI participant, bad musician, marathon finisher, and an unabashed generalist.