Monthly Archives: February 2012


Loving Place

Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day when we are encouraged to show our appreciation for the people that we love, I also want to talk about the places that we love. I was reminded why I love the atmosphere of Minneapolis last night when I emerged from night class to find my car decorated with […]

Trains are speeding up in Michigan

View Amtrak Michigan Services in a larger map While anti-rail fervor has hit a high-water mark in the past two years and major intercity rail projects have been canceled in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida, progress is still being made in other states. Despite neighboring both Ohio and Wisconsin, the state of Michigan has remained fairly […]

A Typology of Beg Buttons

The mid-august sun is hastening the sweat down your back as you frantically walk-run towards the bus stop where you will catch a bus to your job interview.  Finally the stop comes into sight, and your bus is just pulling into it.  But the stop lies across an intersecting street, and a traffic signal stares […]

Mapping Station Use in the 2011 NiceRide Season

This post was co-authored by J. Schoner, A. Harrison, and X. Wang. It is cross-posted on and To no small amount of clamor among the non-motorized community in the Twin Cities and nation at large, Nice Ride MN recently published their complete 2011 data. A few early cuts with Excel and ArcGIS reveal […]’s Video Competition

Today is the last day to vote for the interesting videos over at’s website. Many of them have great urban planning, transportation, and urban design angles, including one made by my friend and collage Matty Lang entited ‘Ample Parking’.   Videotect 2: Ample Parking from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo. I’m not saying you need […]

The Boondoggle that is Light Rail

It’s about time the Star Tribune finally came to its senses and printed a sane, sound critique of the boondoggle that is light rail.

1/31/12 TPW Committee: Which way for Bottineau?

If the first two TPW summaries I posted here at seemed a bit arcane (outfall structures?  asphalt contracts?), this one should have at least one meaty topic.  In fact, one topic is so meaty that I’m going to upend two millennia of mathematics to begin with #9, then briefly summarize the rest afterwards.  Stay […]

Stillwater Courthouse

County Seats

Like Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, this post was conceived last spring in an ExcedrinPM and caffeine influenced dream after experiencing a migraine headache while driving west from the Twin Cities to visit Willmar and Olivia, Minnesota (as a test-run for a possible cross-country automobile trip with 3 children. The test was extremely valuable in that it […]

Roadway Hierarchies

Over the past decade or so, the hierarchical roadway system used by engineers and planners to classify roadways in the US has increasingly received criticism for being outdated. Many individuals blame the hierarchy system for the predominant suburban development pattern. For example, the author(s?) of the Wikipedia entry titled Street Hierarchy don’t try very hard to hide their […]

Anti-Anti-Light Rail: A Response to David Osmek

An op-ed is an op-ed, and I should know better than to respond to an anti-transit rural libertarian.* But the anti-light rail argument in the Star Tribune this week annoyed me all the same. It’s an argument that I’ve seen many many times, and no matter how many times you put it to bed, it’s a […]