Access to Commercial Goods and Services: Improve access to goods and services via walking, biking and transit.
Today, 9 out of 10 trips in Minneapolis are taken in personal automobiles. While a portion of these trips are to school and work, residents in many parts of the city have no choice but to drive long distances to access regular goods and services such as grocery stores. Nationally, 45 percent of daily trips are taken for shopping and errands. In most of Minneapolis, demand for retail is much higher than supply, indicating an opportunity to make retail more convenient for everyone and thereby reduce car trips and greenhouse gas emissions. The city also has 11 low-income census tracts in which residents live more than a mile from a full-service grocery store.
Increasing retail options close to where people live will allow people the option of accessing daily needs without using a car. This will help achieve the City’s greenhouse gas reduction goal, improve health through increased physical activity, and enrich the quality of life in our communities.
The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to improve access to goods and services via walking, biking and transit.
- Allow commercial uses where they currently exist throughout the city.
- Designate additional areas for commercial uses in parts of the city where demand for retail goods and services exceeds the supply, and that are well-served by public transportation.
- Allow property owners to request further expansion of commercial areas where such expansion would improve access to goods and services via walking, biking, and transit.
- Require retail to be incorporated into new buildings in select areas of the city with the highest residential densities, highest pedestrian traffic, and most frequent transit service.
- Allow increased housing density within and adjacent to Commercial areas.
- Allow a full range of uses in Commercial areas intended to provide goods and services to surrounding communities.
- Utilize regulatory tools to minimize the impacts that commercial uses have on nearby residential uses.
- Develop new analytical frameworks and tools to accurately track and study the dynamics of urban retail in order to guide the development, revision, and deployment of City programs, tools, and regulations.