Archive | April, 2012

The Urban Future of Hiawatha Avenue

It is time to create a more humane, livable Hiawatha Avenue. I believe a portion of Hiawatha Avenue should become an urban boulevard that unites neighborhoods rather than divides them, particularly near light rail stations where pedestrian counts have steadily increased since light rail service began and development continues to occur. More exciting is Hennepin County, through its […]

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Cycletracks on Park and Portland: The Single Best Idea to Improve Minneapolis’ Streets

[Following on up Brendon’s call for ideas about Park and Portland, my suggestion for the best way to improve these streets!] Anyone who walks or bikes around the Twin Cities will have a head full of ideas about ways to improve the experience. These mental lists quickly grow long: a crosswalk here, a spot for […]

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Time for a change on Park and Portland

This morning I witnessed a very near miss between a cyclist and a school bus on Park Avenue South (also known as County Road 33).  This “bad interaction” would be classified as a “left-hook” where the bus was slowing to turn left, and failed to yield to the cyclist in the bike lane (approaching from […]

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Twin Cities Ten Million!

Planning (and executing plans) is really about liking your future “self”. If you plan well, and do things in advance of their ultimate need, you are being good to your future self. You do things now (burying nuts, saving for retirement, filing paperwork, washing the dishes, forming habits about where you put your keys, etc.) […]

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Progress on Minnesota passenger rail projects, but funding is limited

For the past few years, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has been facilitating the Intercity Passenger Rail Forum, a monthly-scheduled meeting between policymakers at the state, city, and county levels plus various other organizations who are working on various projects to maintain existing passenger train service and add/restore other lines. Some meetings get canceled if […]

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Place and Non-Place

American cities and towns tend to have a large amount of “non-place.” The concept of Place and Non-Place has been described by Nathan Lewis and is a great way to think about the urban built environment. Lewis characterizes Places as areas where end-purpose activity occurs. Homes, offices, restaurants, parks, backyards are all Places, or locations […]

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How well do regional parks agencies promote utilitarian cycling?

Take a look at the following three photos, and see if you can spot the similar theme. These are all photos of the trail along West River Parkway taken since the Fall of 2009 (click images to enlarge). The parkway is owned and maintained by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB). Each of these […]

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Opportunities to show up

Woody Allen (or perhaps it was Harry Truman) famously said decisions are made by those who show up.  Streets.MN readers who are also Minneapolis residents may be interested in these opportunities to show up (and make decisions): Bicycle Advisory Committee: advise the Mayor, Council and Park Board on bike-related issues. (13 vacancies) Pedestrian Advisory Committee: advise […]

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Part 1: Small News, Big Impact: Roseville’s Controversial Ordinance 1417

[Note: Have you ever started researching something and quickly realize that you’ve got in over your head? Ordinance 1417 is exactly that … If I missed anything here, please fill me in. I’d love to get to the bottom of this issue. This is part 1 of 2.] [Above: Four scenarios for Twin Lakes redevelopment […]

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Assessing our Future

The concept of a special assessment contains little dark secrets that city officials like to keep to themselves. The ability to assess the cost of maintenance — a questionable concept at best — is the only thing allowing many cities to avoid facing their true reality. Elected officials and the public need to understand assessments, […]

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