Brit Builds an ADU: Infill and Transportation

So, as I mentioned in the first installment I sometimes take the bus for errands and to get to meetings. As part of the city’s desire to reduce congestion by encouraging public transit Accessory Dwelling Units are not required to have additional parking space of their own. We are likely to either replace our current two car garage with a one or two spot garage thus either reducing private parking or maintaining the current parking capacity. As such, how will our new tenant get around the city?

metro transit bus

Busses are bae. More common than the LRT, and practically on our doorstep.

According to WalkScore we have a Walk Score of 74, Transit of 57, and Bike Score of 70.

From my own journeys about the city I know that I can typically get downtown within half an hour taking the 11 or the 535. I can go to uptown to visit Magers and Quinn’s taking the 11 to the 23. I can get to the Mall of America via the 5 if I get on at the right stop.. (the 46th street stop rather than the 48th street one, darn you branching routes) and soon we’ll have the D-line and any stop will be the right one. I could take the 46 to the light rail and have taken it with the 6 to doc appointments.. but it only stops every half an hour. I could also take the 18 down to the Cub grocery on Nicollet or other places? Truly though the 11 is my bus of choice. It stops on my corner at 46th street and Clinton ave. It is punctual and frequent, and it goes most places I want to go from downtown, to the MIA, to the (currently being remodeled) Hosmer library, and to the Seward Co-Op Friendship store. The 11 runs about every 15-20 minutes and is a great route north and south along 4th ave.

I currently do not bike, but we are also only four long blocks from the Minnehaha bike trail, from which we can get to the Minnehaha Falls and points east. We are close to Portland and Park, which while they have bike lanes these particular roads are currently over-run with 35W detour traffic. 

We are close to McRae Park and Martin Luther King Jr. park. Nicollet has the tail end of Eat Street down here. The small business intersection of 48th and Chicago is close enough to walk for dinner or an event at the Parkway. (And hopefully will soon have a new D-line stop.) Overall, I love living in Field. It’s a great neighborhood with decent sidewalks, unprotected bike lanes on the streets, close to bike paths and destinations for food and fun. We do get airplane noise on a regular basis, and are close to 35W which is somewhat useful but also a bit noisy and the ongoing fact that we are at one of the few entrances and exits to the highway during construction has degraded our street safety for the next three years.

Overall… I think having a car is very convenient, primarily for grocery reasons as both grocery stores are a little over a mile away. But I also grew up rural. I’m still in process of transitioning my own life to lower my car usage. But, I do think that it would be quite doable for someone to live here sans car. And will get easier as the upgraded zoning of 46th street to Corridor 4 and Corridor 6 will mean that we will likely see improved transit over time as we have more density move next door. (Though I would like to see this move from “urban neighborhood” to “neighborhood mixed use” since we’re allowing four and six story buildings I’d really like to be able to walk to a grocery or other store at the bottom of those buildings.)

Do these options increase the desirability of living at our particular ADU? I have no idea. I do know that more and more people who can are opting to not have a car at all. It costs an average of $8,500 per year to own and operate a car. Let alone the environmental impact of personal transportation. We are looking at the feasibility of moving down to one car from two, increasing our person powered transportation and transit usage. On the other hand, the only time we have a remotely full street  of parked cars is when St. Joan of Arc is having an event aka on Sundays. That may change over time if people take advantage of the increased density possible on 46th street.. but for the next few years at least I doubt we’ll be having a parking problem.


Thanks to Lou Miranda for inspiring this post.

Brit Anbacht

About Brit Anbacht

Brit Anbacht is a millenial policy wonk and general nerd. They work from home full time. Brit sometimes drives but ever more frequently takes the bus for errands. They live in south Minneapolis, and can be found occasionally on twitter @britvulcan.

7 thoughts on “Brit Builds an ADU: Infill and Transportation

  1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

    Nice story about using the bus in everyday life!

    I am curious about your comment about 5 bus to the MOA. I am quite sure both the 5E and 5B stop at both 48th and 46th St. I have taken the 5E a few times between 48th & Chicago and 73rd & Portland. You would need the 5E, of course, to go anywhere south of 56th.

    I also can’t wait for the D Line, which will much improve these trips.

    1. Brit AnbachtBrit Anbacht Post author

      It’s probably more of a matter of most/every time I’ve tried taking the five I end up on the 5B/the 5E is much less frequent. But looks like you’re right that they do both technically stop at 48th. Very excited for the D Line tho.

  2. Serafina ScheelSerafina Scheel

    In my experience, renters really seek someplace convenient to the destinations important to them. Most of the people I’ve rented to really want to avoid having a vehicle.

  3. Lou Miranda

    Glad to have inspired you, Brit. I find your ADU posts very interesting, because you’ve moved beyond theory to actually building one. (ADUs are not allowed currently in my city.)

    It sounds like you have a great mix of errand destinations (grocery, etc.) and dining/food options (Patisserie 46!) along with local bus and, soon, aBRT transit options. Seems ideal for a renter.

  4. Jack

    I wish I could afford to build an ADU! I live in a perfect location for one. The cost is just too prohibitive.

    1. Andrew Evans

      I keep talking about one, and it’s the perpetual 5 year project. Although to be honest if I’m going through the trouble to build a new garage then it may as well have water and sewer and room for a loft of some kind. I guess it will come down to my partners and my employment in a few years, and if we want to travel more or invest that much in the house, and what we could get out of it. Also that renting a shop space with a friend (for a mancave, which is all the ADU would be anyway) may be around $500 a month, which would be a little easier for the time I’d use it, especially if an ADU is over $60k.

      Also the city of Minneapolis seems to have a fetish for insulation and green buildings lately, and our house is over 100 years old and in their eyes inefficient. So I’m not sure we may see the returns on it that we thought, time will tell, and if that’s the case then it wouldn’t be worth investing more in the property here (in “upgrades” or anything).

  5. wilj

    Brit, you should seriously look into hourcar. It’s designed for exactly what you’re describing (possibly needing more than 1 car, but needing less than 2).

    As far as renting/transit goes… if transit is navigable, you can get car-less renters. The secret sauce is whether the price (rent) is right. But it doesn’t take a huge price swing to completely change the dynamics of demand (ie $800 vs $900 is a pretty big difference to someone renting). Additionally, things like sharing your internet, etc, also can make a pretty big difference. As they say: “all business is local” so mileage may vary – someone who works nearby may find your neighborhood highly desireable whereas others may not..

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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