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Pedestrian-Oriented Building and Site Design: Regulate land uses, building design, and site design of new development consistent with a transportation system that prioritizes walking first, followed by bicycling and transit use, and lastly motor vehicle use.

Sidewalk with amenities
Windows along sidewalk
Small shops along sidewalk

The City of Minneapolis Complete Streets policy prioritizes walking first, followed by bicycling and transit use, and lastly motor vehicle use. Building and site design of new development should follow this same hierarchy in order to encourage sustainable modes of transportation and improve health outcomes. The number and location of entrances, the size and distribution of windows, building setbacks from the street, along with building design elements such as lighting and awnings, all contribute to the pedestrian experience. Site layout is also important to facilitating pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. Factors such as the building location, parking lots, driveways, open space, plazas, and pocket parks merit careful attention.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to regulate land uses, building design, and site design of new development consistent with a transportation system that prioritizes walking first, followed by bicycling and transit use, and lastly motor vehicle use.

  1. Orient buildings and building entrances to the street. Encourage multiple entrances to multi-family residential buildings.
       
  2. Require active uses on the ground floor of new buildings, with direct connections to the sidewalk.
  3. Require windows on buildings to allow clear views into and out of the building.
  4. Ensure that buildings incorporate design elements that eliminate long stretches of blank, inactive exterior walls through provision of windows, multiple entrance doors, green walls, and architectural details.
  5. Integrate components in building designs that offer protection to pedestrians, such as awnings and canopies, as a means to encourage pedestrian activity along the street.
  6. Arrange buildings within a site in order to minimize the generation of wind currents at ground level.
  7. Locate buildings and arrange massing so that shadowing on public spaces is minimized.
  8. Coordinate site designs and public right-of-way improvements to provide adequate sidewalk space for pedestrian movement, street trees, landscaping, street furniture, sidewalk cafes, and other elements of active pedestrian areas.
  9. Coordinate with Metro Transit to ensure that the design of new buildings supports transit operations.
  10. Implement and expand zoning regulations and incentives that promote bicycling, such as the provision of secured storage for bikes near building entrances, storage lockers, and changing and shower facilities.
  11. Eliminate off-street parking minimums throughout the City.
  12. Locate access to and egress from parking ramps mid-block and at right angles to minimize disruptions to pedestrian flow at the street level.
  13. Require above-grade parking structures to be designed with active uses along the street walls and with sufficient clearance on all levels to allow adaptive reuse in the future.
  14. Discourage the establishment of and minimize the size of surface parking lots.
  15. Prohibit the establishment of new drive-throughs and gas stations.
  16. Prohibit the establishment of new auto repair facilities and other auto-oriented uses in areas designated Community and Destination Mixed Use on the Future Land Use Map.
  17. Mitigate the impacts of auto repair and other auto-oriented uses on the pedestrian environment through building and site design requirements.
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