Gas Stations: Where have they gone?

Decades before Holiday Station Stores, Pump and Munch, Super America an British Petroleum came up over the horizon, South Minneapolis was littered with tiny independently owned service stations. Many of these little building are still standing. Some have been repurposed as law offices, flowers shops, permaculture cafes and acupuncture clinics. Their parking lots and driveways […]

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Streets.mn joins the Railvolution

This weekend, you might have noticed groups of well-dressed people with nametags wandering Minneapolis and Saint Paul, looking at trains and apartment buildings with keen eyes. I spotted a LRT tour during University Avenue’s Open Streets yesterday, and then again found a nametag’d couple looking for a cab in downtown Saint Paul last night. (Ha!) […]

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On the Politics of the Rhetoric of Choice

We often hear from transit advocates that expanding public transportation is good because it increases the choices available to people. Framing the issue this way reveals something about the deeper commitments of the supporters, namely that it is a good in itself simply to expand available avenues for people to assert their will. The ability […]

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Sunday Summary – September 21, 2014

Here’s the whole week on streets.mn, sorted and summarized: Your input needed: Comments on the Metropolitan Council’s Draft Transportation Policy Plan provides four comments on the draft plan with some additional criticism in the comments; you can comment on the plan until October 1. Big ideas department: Cars Feel Like the Future considers car design as the […]

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Chart of the Day: Rent vs. Distance from CBD Center

Here’s a fun chart from an 1980s Urban Geography intro textbook that I picked up in a free pile on the University of Minnesota campus today…   This kind of relationship is referred to in “classic urban geography” as the “bid-rent curve,” about how land values decline from a theoretical peak intersection in the CBD. […]

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Comments on the Metropolitan Council’s Draft Transportation Policy Plan

The Metropolitan Council held a public hearing tonight on their draft Transportation Policy Plan. If you care about transit or transportation issues in the region, you should comment (you can do so through October 1). Here are four comments I have on the plan: Our urban areas are significantly underserved by this plan. Even under the “increased […]

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Chart of the Day: Renter Participation in Neighborhood Groups

Occasional streets.mn contributor John Edwards has a new blog about the demographic gap between his local neighborhood group and the surrounding residents of  the Wedge, complete with nifty infographics. Here’s one of the charts on the site:   I wrote a column about this over at Minnpost today. Engaging with renters is a persistent challenge for neighborhood groups all […]

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Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District Unveils Greening Awards Summer Finalists

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District today released the 5th annual Greening and Public Realm Awards’ summer finalists. Winners will be decided by an online vote at through Sept. 19, and the winning organizations will be announced announced on Sept. 24. The Greening Awards are an effort by the DID to inspire local businesses and organizations […]

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Open Streets Minneapolis - Nicollet

Open Streets Minneapolis – Nicollet Ave Review

Another Open Streets Minneapolis event was a success. This one was Sunday on Nicollet Ave from Lake to 46th Street. There are a few different things I love about these events: They close off a major urban street to motorized vehicles They partner with places like Metro Transit by encouraging you to use sustainable transportation […]

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Cars Feel Like the Future

For you, what’s the most obvious sign that time is passing and has passed? Like when you look around at the average scene in your everyday environment, and you’re able to determine that it’s not the same as five years ago, or a decade ago, or twenty years ago? With one notable exception, I’d have […]

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One Penny

I recently visited Houston.  While on a tour of the Red Line, their first LRT line, I was told the story of its funding. Tom DeLay twice blocked federal funding for the line, meaning the entire initial 7.5 mile was built with local dollars – $324 million of them. Houston seemed to be living the Strong […]

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Chart of the Day: Gateway Corridor Job Projections

A propos of the Lake Elmo article, here’s a chart of projected job growth along a few of the different Gateway Corridor alignment options from the Met Council’s recent study on the project.   As you can see, most of the job growth is projected to take place in Saint Paul, Oakdale, and by the 3M campus […]

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Lake Elmo, Masters of the Long Game

Back in 2003 I was working as a volunteer radio news reporter for KFAI, a great long-time community radio station on Minneapolis’ West Bank. Much like blogging, it was a fun (if unpaid) job involving many unexpected conversations and encounters with people from all corners of the city. I remember going to Minneapolis’ north side […]

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Map Monday: Metro Transit’s (Draft) “Increased Revenue Scenario”

This map comes from the Met Council’s Transportation Policy Plan draft which is out for public comment right now. It depicts what the plans for what would happen if somehow the region received more money (most likely through a local sales tax). Here’s the description from the draft document, transit chapter: In order to complete the region’s vision of […]

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Uptown to Dinkytown: The Three Mode Analysis

After quasi-graduating this past spring and backpacking around Europe for two months, I have slowly adjusted back into reality. And, like a plethora of quintessential University of Minnesota millennial-aged graduates, I have moved from my humble, seven-people-in-a-four-bedroom college shack in the Dinkytown area to much greater (and less smelly) ventures in Uptown. What isn’t typical about my current situation […]

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