Better Bridges for Stronger Communities

A close up look at efforts to improve the built environment on and around the many bridges over Interstate 94 in Saint Paul.

Documentary by Matty Lang of the Friendly Streets Initiative’s community engagement and placemaking work with neighborhood partners in Saint Paul in 2015-2016.

Better Bridges is a Friendly Streets Initiative project in collaboration with the Union Park District Council, Summit-University Planning Council, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, Lex-Ham Community Council, Desnoyer Park Improvement Association, St. Anthony Park Community Council, Hamline Midway Coalition, Frogtown Neighborhood Association, the District Councils Collaborative, Crows Nest Design and the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation. This project is supported by the Knight Green Line Challenge, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative and the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.


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6 Responses to Better Bridges for Stronger Communities

  1. Matt Steele September 2, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    Cool ideas, and seems like “bridges that don’t divide neighborhoods” should be the absolute minimum design standard for urban freeway facilities.

    But I’d go a few steps further: Let’s plan for a future without I-94 between the downtowns. I-94 as an actual interstate route can be designated along today’s I-694 north of the metro. It doesn’t seem that extreme, really. Plenty of major cities, including major American cities, never planned, planned but never built, or built and have since torn down urban freeways.

    Tear down I-94!

    • Matty Lang
      Matty Lang September 2, 2016 at 11:50 am #

      I completely agree, Matt. Freeways ought to have no place inside urban cities.

    • Adam Froehlig
      Adam Froehlig September 7, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

      Fair being fair, though, all of those examples of torn-down urban freeways in the US involve either spur freeways or freeways that were replaced with adjacent facilities. I-94 is not the former, and there are no plans or ability to do the latter.

  2. robsk September 5, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    Nice little video. Looks like the event was a success. I agree, let’s build better bridges physically, socially, economically. But I didn’t see anything in the documentary that suggested removing I-94 would be an improvement.

    Tearing down I-94 would return the Twin Cities to the days of population decreases, unemployment, urban decay, and suburban rejuvenation. I-94 is a commuter and visitor freeway more than a thru highway. Do you really want to take all of that economic activity and energy away from the urban core and divert it to the suburbs?

    • Matt Steele September 6, 2016 at 10:10 am #

      Sarcasm?

  3. GlowBoy September 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    Well, I do have to admit I enjoy the fast I-94 trip from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul … on the #94 bus.