Chart of the Day: Biking (Ethnicity) in Memphis

[Note: this post is best read while listening to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2DFu7oWit0.] An interesting chart from the Strong Towns blog showing biking rates in Memphis, Tennessee classified by ethnicity. Race and bicycling is an interesting topic of conversation that happens too rarely, and brings into focus all kinds of often hidden assumptions about transportation, equity, geography, visibility, […]

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Bikeyface could have been in Northfield!

Bike-cation in Northfield

Bikeyface took a bike-cation somewhere near Boston, but could have been visiting Northfield instead.  Doesn’t that look like MN Trunk Highway 3 through downtown Northfield? What would a bike-cation in Northfield look like? There’s a surprising amount to do on a bicycle in Northfield, but navigating through the center of town on a bicycle to reach […]

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A Bike Matters

In discussions of bicycling for transportation we don’t often give much thought to the bicycle. We talk a lot about laws, facilities to ride bicycles on, and and all of the benefits of bicycling but the lowly bicycle itself gets pretty short shrift. And it shouldn’t. It’s important. If we want to increase transportation bicycling […]

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Podcast #76 – Bus Stop Spacing with Alex Cecchini

The podcast this week is a conversation with Alex Cecchini, an engineer and regular contributor to streets.mn. Alex recently wrote a well-researched post entitled The Case for Quarter Mile Bus Stop Spacing, all about transit design and the tradeoff between frequent stops and bus speeds. We sat down at the Amsterdam Bar in downtown Saint […]

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MN GOP Beware: Biking and Pedestrian Improvements Have Broad Appeal

Minnesota Republicans captured control of the Minnesota House of Representatives in part by fueling urban versus rural resentment: “Those metro-centric DFLers give everything to Minneapolis and St. Paul.” The truth is, turnout trends associated with non-presidential year elections were a much bigger reason why the DFL lost control of the Minnesota House. But this “core cities […]

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Duluth, the Urban Time Capsule

You never hear much about urban land use or transit oriented development in Duluth–or transit itself for that matter. Those topics seems to be restricted to the Twin Cities and sometimes Rochester. I’ve become much more familiar with the Zenith City over the last three years spent writing the new book “Twin Ports by Trolley—The […]

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A Quick Fix for Minneapolis Transit

Last week, David Levinson asked whether we are “building a city” in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. He noted that rail investments only make sense in areas where there is sufficient density to support those investments. He further wondered whether Minneapolis and St. Paul could achieve those requisite densities for a majority of residents in […]

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Map Monday: Hamline-Midway c. 1886

Here’s an old map of Saint Paul from a 130 years ago, courtesy of Citizens for a Better Snelling Avenue:   The city boundary was still much farther South than it is today. It’s also interesting to see the names of all the wealthy property owners like JJ Hill and John Ireland. Back then, it must […]

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Restore the Grid! A Vision for the Center of Downtown Saint Paul

I live and work in Lowertown. Frequently my errands and wanderings take me up to the Rice Park/Landmark Center/7th Place areas. I’m always either on foot or bike. Over the last two-plus years of living here, I’ve become increasingly annoyed with the presence of the two “SuperBlocks”. These are the blocks that have 7th Street […]

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Sunday Summary – November 16, 2014

Suddenly, it is winter here on the streets of Minnesota.  With only scattered comments this week, perhaps readers were busy putting wax on skis and winter tires on their vehicle of choice rather than writing.  No matter, here’s the week shoveled into tidy piles and not just tracked into the house: Big ideas department If […]

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Stone Arch

Stone Arch from ImageStream Press Aerial footage of the Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge built in 1883. This bridge spans 2,100 feet of the Mississippi River and used to be operated by the Great Northern Railway until 1978. Sadly, just down stream of this location is the site of the I-35 bridge collapse that claimed the lives […]

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Chart of the Day: More Vehicle Trends

Here are four more charts about the US car fleet over time. The first shows average vehicle weight, average horsepower, average fuel economy,  and CO2 emissions. Particularly the weight trajectory reminds me of Jevon’s paradox, where increases in efficiency can lead to more energy use. Also, trucks are much less efficient than cars.   Streets.mn is a non-profit and […]

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Transportation Emojis: An Objective Analysis

In today’s fast-paced and over-scheduled world, people don’t have the time–they just don’t have the time. Especially the young people. Between Netflix, taking pictures of sandwiches, and padding resumes, these young people (often referred to as #Millennials by marketers and other less obvious shysters) have quietly developed a new, improved method of communication that saves […]

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The Mississippi is well above its usual level as evidenced by the bank on the across the river.

Flood Lore from Yore and More

June 20, 2014 Highland Park, West End, Lowertown, Downtown 16.5 Miles A record-setting June for rainfall prompted me to make another trip along the Mississippi River to see how bad the flooding was. The 4.13 inches of rain that fell on June 19, a day before this ride, was the fifth wettest day since 1871, […]

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