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A driveway provides motor vehicle access from the roadway to adjacent private property.


A driveway provides motor vehicle access from the roadway to adjacent private property. Driveways typically run through the sidewalk and bikeway zones and should be designed to mitigate impacts to pedestrians and bicyclists. Driveways are regulated by Chapter 541 of the Zoning Code; this regulation will be updated in 2021 to align with the Minneapolis 2040 plan. 

Minneapolis 2040 includes these policies related to driveways:

Policy 5, action step q: Prohibit driveways for new small scale residential buildings on blocks that have alley access.

Policy 6, action step v: Limit, consolidate, and narrow driveways along pedestrian routes. In addition, discourage driveway access on Goods and Services Corridors.

Policy 18, action step d: Minimize the number of vehicle curb cuts that hinder pedestrian safety; be deliberate in the placement of drop-off zones and other curb side uses and evaluate the pedestrian benefits as a part of the decision-making process.

Policy 19, action step e: Minimize the number of vehicle curb cuts that hinder bicyclist safety; be deliberate in the placement of drop-off zones and other curb side uses, and evaluate the bicycling benefits as a part of the decision-making process.

Figure 3.3I.1:


Design Considerations

New driveways

New driveways should be limited to locations without alley or cross street access. Site plan review is required for any new driveway that impacts the sidewalk. 

Consolidating, removing, and right sizing

  1. In a street reconstruction project or site plan review process, designers should explore removing driveways that are no longer being used, are no longer permitted or compliant, are in excess of the site access/parking needs, or where access is provided via an alley. Designers should consider a wide variety of implications when removing driveways.
  2. Designers should also explore right-sizing driveway curb cuts. This might result in some driveways being narrowed to improve safety. In some cases, driveways might need to be widened, such as to accommodate turning of existing vehicle sizes while narrowing the street.
  3. This process includes collecting traffic data to determine vehicle mix, working with property owners to identify specific vehicles, confirming access points, time of day deliveries, and creatively maintaining suitable access.

Driveway location

Driveways should be a minimum of 30’ clear of the intersection of two major streets and a minimum of 20’ from all other intersections to minimize conflicts. 

Driveway width

Driveway widths should be minimized as feasible to reduce entrance speeds, maximize greening opportunities, and reduce pedestrian exposure at vehicle access points. Driveways widths are regulated by Chapter 541, Off‐Street Parking and Loading in the zoning code and vary by zoning district. 

Sidewalk and bikeway interactions

  1. Driveways should minimize impacts to sidewalks, shared use paths, and bikeways to maintain consistent and comfortable user experience for people walking and biking. 
  2. The width and grade of the pedestrian clear zone or bikeway should generally continue across driveways whenever possible. In rare very constrained conditions, the pedestrian clear zone width may be reduced to 4’ by driveways, and the sidewalk may be jogged away from the roadway to accommodate proper cross slope.
  3. Where possible, the material of the sidewalk, shared use path, or bikeway should be continued across driveways to eliminate the need for horizontal expansion joints and provide additional visual delineation between the path and driveway surface.

Driveway ramp

The ramp portion of a driveway entrance should be located within the boulevard and furnishing zone wherever possible. The grade of driveway entrances in the boulevard and furnishing zone may not exceed a 12% grade. 

Parking ramp and vehicular building access/egress

Access to and egress from parking ramps should be designed perpendicular to the street in a single curb cut, as shown in Figure 3.3I.2. This design promotes good visibility between pedestrians and vehicles and minimizes potential conflict points between pedestrians and vehicles. In large developments, it is recommended that vehicular curb cuts be located midblock and be limited to one curb cut per block face.

Figure 3.3I.2: Parking ramp access/egress