Archive | Culture

Vulnerable Road User Protection Laws

Most of the time, when a pedestrian or cyclist is seriously injured or killed by a motor vehicle, we label it “an accident.” As long as the driver isn’t drunk and doesn’t flee the scene, he or she can expect to pay a minor fine, at most, and will suffer no criminal penalties. It doesn’t […]

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Bottleneck Fix: Turn (Don’t Merge)

One highly trafficked intersection in Minneapolis was layered with interstate lanes in 1971. Although the freeway was buried below, ramps and merging lanes complicate the streets above. This historically influential neighborhood was transformed into a transitory space for the automotive world.   Minneapolis can regain this missing district with one driving modification: ‘turn, instead of […]

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In the Suburbs – 1957

Earlier this week a “Chart of the Day” post by Matt Steele about the always debated SWLRT project sparked 47(!) comments at the time of this writing. Part of the discussion in the comment thread touched on the idea of “The American Dream” incarnated as suburban living. The argument that people in the U.S. want […]

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Would the Minneapolis of Today Oppose the Construction of the IDS Center?

Can We Still Dream as We Once Did? When built, the IDS Center didn’t match any of the character of the city, any of the colors or materials of the surrounding buildings, their heights or setbacks, and it stuck out on the horizon for tens of miles. Yet it became embraced by the city and […]

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How a “Safe” Cyclist can Still End Up Dead

    Last night, I quickly blogged about media coverage regarding the death of Marcus Nalls, hit and killed on his bicycle by a drunk driver. John Iverson killed Nalls on Franklin Ave.–one of the busiest and most dangerous roads that bicyclists utilize in the Cities. Although my argument remains the same today, I want to take a bit more […]

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The BIG K-Mart

Friday Photo – Multiplicity

What’s one of the most annoying things for people who care about urbanism? The fact that normal people don’t even notice it. But a photograph creates an aesthetic object which invites scrutiny. The more banal the photograph, the better. One is confronted directly with something that would ordinarily be background noise. I imagine someone looking […]

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Bicycle Parking

Hooray, Hooray: New Minnesota Bicycle-Friendly Communities Named

The League of American Bicyclists recently named a new round of Bicycle Friendly Communities and businesses. Several Minnesota communities have jumped through the hoops and made this list, including Richfield, Winona and Duluth. Previous awardees include Greater Mankato, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Paul, Bemidji, Grand Marais, and Grand Rapids. Minnesota itself ranks #4 among the 50 […]

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bicycle boulevard, Minneapolis

In Defense of the Cul-De-Sac

The cul-de-sac is misunderstood. It is often hated and generally shunned by most urban planners in the modern age for how they break up neighborhoods and create a system in which the neighborhood streets are isolated from larger “through” streets that carry the bulk of traffic — and are often unwalkable. Meanwhile, look at the […]

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