Archive | Culture

Mankato and the Death of Neighborhood Schools

We need an entirely different approach to where we locate schools and how we build them. Our current model – notably in small and mid-sized towns – is that of the destruction of our neighborhood schools in favor of the suburban campus model. The campus model is a burden on our system: built on an inhuman scale, unwalkable by design, with […]

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Predictions for Super Bowl 2018

I predict the Packers will win, prompting the biggest riot the city has ever seen! No, seriously, I support hosting the 2018 Super Bowl in Minnesota. After all, we need to start paying off our billion-dollar, publicly financed stadium that was supposed to be paid for with non-existent gaming revenues. Looking at the behavior of […]

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Jim Oberstar

In Memoriam: Jim Oberstar (1934-2014)

Former Congressman and longtime transportation champion Jim Oberstar died unexpectedly Saturday morning at age 79. News outlets are all posting the usual obituaries that one expects for a man of distinction and achievement. He was a giant for transportation, not only in Minnesota, but in the United States. He was a member of the House […]

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Being Smart with Street Signage

While walking along a sleepy residential street in my St. Paul neighborhood, I noticed something ugly about a traffic circle. There are eight signs in total; four warning of the upcoming traffic circle and four instructing each direction which way to navigate the circle. We need to design residential streets in a manner where most signs are not required. Here’s another […]

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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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