Alliance Opposes New Parking Ramp for Federal Reserve

UPDATED 7/9: The City of Minneapolis Planning Commission voted 5-4 against the Federal Reserve Bank’s plan for an 800-space parking ramp by the Mississippi River. The Alliance, along with member organizations Sierra Club North Star Chapter and Our Streets, submitted letters of opposition. Read our’s below. 

Dear Members of the Planning Commission, Mayor Frey and Council Member Fletcher,

In recent months, Minneapolis has received glowing national press for the bold steps outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Plan, receiving widespread accolades for its innovative and urgently needed approaches to housing and sustainability. Now, the rubber is meeting the road with the application from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis for a new 800-stall parking ramp — and we ask that city leaders live up to that collective vision and set a precedent that ensures our widely applauded plan is put into action.

As a coalition of community-based organizations and advocacy groups in the Twin Cities region dedicated to racial equity and sustainability in growth and development, the Alliance has long worked with city leaders to advance shared goals. Thanks to community leaders and elected officials, we are fortunate to live in a city where there is broad consensus and shared motivation to address our crises of climate change and affordable housing. As an anchor institution with abundant resources, both financial and intellectual, we must ask more of the Federal Reserve than doubling down on the failed privileging of transportation options that increase carbon emissions and remove important urban space for other social imperatives, like affordable housing.

If we are to meet our bold and necessary goals of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, we simply cannot continue to incentivize driving, especially in a dense area that is rich with transit and bicycling infrastructure. If we are to address our deep challenges related to housing, we must reevaluate our willingness to dedicate city space to the storage of single-occupancy vehicles rather than potential homes for the thousands of families who struggle everyday to pay rising rents across the region.

To be a true leader, Minneapolis must push back against our flawed, unhealthy and deeply problematic assumption that we must cater our municipal spaces to cars and instead insist that institutions that benefit from being part of our vibrant city must operate in ways that serve the collective wellbeing of ALL our residents, not just their employees.

Along with other member organizations of the Alliance, we ask that you reject the application for the proposed parking ramp from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.