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?
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.