GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.
The St. Paul City Council, which has in its ranks members who are fearful of internal combustion, will vote this week to overturn a rule that requires developers to include parking spaces when constructing new commercial or residential buildings.
The elimination of off-street parking cannot and will not eliminate the need for it. Not all of us are on bicycles. People will still need to park. Off they go into the surrounding neighborhoods where parking is already tight.
Must it be me, a believer in automobiles and gas stations, who will reveal to the council the surprising flaw in their plan, given that they are trying to save the Earth?
Where are the developers going to put the charging stations for electric vehicles if there are no parking spaces for future cars to be charged?
Because you know that is inevitable, an ordinance that will require developers to provide charging stations for the electric cars that will save us from doom, never mind the environmental degradation from mining the precious metals needed to make batteries.
In St. Paul, we have managed to elect a class of essentially progressive activists who, among their other follies, wish to disabuse us of the conventional automobile. We have seen it for years, the increase in bike lanes, closing streets for bicycle use, more and more bump-outs, the canonization of pedestrians, the littering of the streets with rentable scooters and on and on. And we have all managed to adjust to these new realities because we all know the car is not going away just yet, nor should it.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just recently released another doomsday report, calling it a “red alert.” This has to be at least the seventh or eighth time we have been told the clock is running out and we must do something. Like the previous better-act-now-or-else warnings, this one does not contain any history. The Earth has warmed and cooled and flooded and burned for billions of years without human presence.
Ah, but the U.N. has its acolytes, among them, for example, Mitra Jalali, who represents St. Paul’s 4th Ward. It was noted in the Enemy Paper that she referenced the U.N.’s red alert, believing that mitigating carbon emissions is something local governments can help bring about.
OK. But parking spaces don’t emit carbon. The cars that need them do. Developers would still be allowed to provide parking. It doesn’t seem plausible that any business that is dependent on customers would move into a new commercial property if there is no parking.
So, what will be accomplished by eliminating parking? Nothing, except inconveniencing car owners and setting up a competitive parking spot rodeo in adjoining neighborhoods. If such a decision is to perhaps inspire more use of public transit, check the crime statistics on the Green Line. Jalali, a strong proponent of public transit, is also, counterproductively, a proponent of defunding the police.
We are not well served when our elected worthies march in lockstep with a U.N. that has been trying for decades to sell us a falling sky.
And you are welcome for my pointing out that you forgot all about the charging stations for the electric cars you imagine, way too optimistically, becoming the norm.
Sign up for Newsletters and Alerts