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A Minor Miracle in St. Paul

I have been known to harshly criticize St. Paul for its consistent—one could say unconscious, institutional—prioritization of car speed and convenience over the safety and comfort of people traveling sustainably. But this past fall St. Paul did something incredible, illuminating how different things could be with nothing more than a change in mindset. In October, […]

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Ford Ranger Vs F150

Twenty-Seven Years of Pickup Truck Design

Former Streetsblog USA writer Angie Schmitt has recently been making the point on Twitter that, despite the extremity of our climate crisis, the transition to sustainable transportation can’t be instantaneous because of our sprawling built environment. We therefore will need both EVs (maybe including ebikes, though she doesn’t address this) and smaller/safer vehicles for people […]

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Notes From the Minnesota Statewide Passenger Rail Plan Meeting

On Jan 7, a meeting on the Minnesota Statewide Passenger Rail plan was held at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center in Savage, and streets.mn was invited to join other local media outlets and elected officials to hear about updates to the plan. No one else from streets.mn said they were going, so, because I […]

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St. Paul Empire Builder

Trains, Planes, or Cars: Which is the Most Carbon-Efficient Way to Travel?

Many of us traveled for the holidays, and many of the Streets community shared their experiences of traveling by Amtrak. It is very true that when moving on flat ground in a straight line, trains on steel wheels and rails are the most efficient form of transportation. Rolling on steel rails reduces rolling resistance and […]

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The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park Has an Access and Sustainability Problem

Theodore Wirth Park, the largest park managed by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, is home to what MPRB superintendent Mary Merrill has described as a world class facility that serves as the jumping off point for year-round outdoor activities. However, these activities – which include snow tubing, cross country skiing, mountain and fat tire […]

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It Takes 66,379 Miles for an Electric Car to Have Lower Emissions Than Hybrid

In 2020, Tesla is expected to release the Model Y, a battery-electric hatchback “SUV” that will compete with the recently announced Ford Mustang Mach-E and other crossover-type electric fastbacks. Putting aside all the arguments why electric cars will not save the planet in general, let’s explore whether these new family wagons are even better than […]

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Walking All the Streets of Lyndale, Day 2

On a beautiful fall day, I walked all of the Lyndale neighborhood that I had missed on my prior walk. Actually, not quite all. Construction activity closed much of Stevens Avenue even for pedestrians, so those blocks appear in neither route. One indirect consequence is that this second route isn’t a closed loop; it starts under […]

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2019: My Year of Biking

I started 2019 with what seemed a relatively simple goal: to ride my bike every day in January. I succeeded with that, and then kept going. I rode through February, March, and April, before finally deciding to keep it up as long as I could. I kept a log of my adventures on Twitter, and […]

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Don’t Run Us Over

I wish I could sing or play an instrument, because I’d like to make a recording of the alternate lyrics I made up for the classic Dionne Warwick song “Don’t Make Me Over,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I may have been inspired by the version of “Old Town Road” about Saint Paul’s […]

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