Monthly Archives: May 2012

Soda motor exterior

The Motor Line and its fireless soda locomotives

  One strange technology that gets mentioned in passing in histories of the Twin Cities streetcar network is the “soda motor”.  When I first read about it, I was sure it must have just been a play on words: soda must have come from the tail end of Minnesota, right?  Further reading explained that no, […]

Trunk Highway Main Streets

One of the more challenging issues facing Main Streets in Minnesota is situations where that Main Street is also a Minnesota Trunk Highway. For most small towns, the designation of their Main Street as a Trunk Highway is bittersweet. Sweet, because it means the city is probably located along a trade route (or former trade route) deemed […]

CNU 20 Recap Also

I received a small bit of money from the University to attend the Congress for the New Urbanism last weekend in West Palm Beach, Florida, which if you don’t know, is a twenty-year old gathering of the architecture and planning left wing. It was a short trip, a surgical strike junket. I was in and […]

CNU 20 Recap

I just got back from spending a week in West Palm Beach, meeting with New Urbanists and, together, plotting a makeover and economic revival of America. My voice is gone and after successive nights of little sleep and 14 hours of travel Sunday, not much stamina either, but I’m left with one thought that I […]

A Tale of Two Corners

Two intersections that I pass on my daily commute offer vastly different pedestrian experiences.  Walking vaguely north-ish on 3rd St N in the North Loop you first encounter 6th Ave N, where despite the stop signs giving priority to cars on 6th over their automotive brethren on 3rd, I experience the most consistent yielding to […]

Experiencing City Streets: 30 Days of Biking

Another year of 30 Days of Biking has come and gone. In addition to miserably failing to tweet regularly, I missed a few days of riding while I was traveling on the east coast. All the same, for me, this was the best year of 30 Days of Biking to date. For folks who haven’t […]

The Missing Link

Though the automobile-highway system is mature, and we will not be building any significant mileage of new highways in the Twin Cities, does that mean we should build none? Connectivity is important, more connected cities are more efficient (at least to a point) from a transportation and economic productivity perspective. When I was young and […]

Sprawl and the Big Crunch

Almost all of us are guilty of living sprawling lifestyles, either now or in the past. Sprawl is a huge urban planning problem, but it’s a difficult one to handle simply because it’s so prevalent. There’s little will to change when everyone shares part of the blame, but we must find ways to do so […]

Removing our Least Useful Bridges

There has been a lot of discussion across the internet lately about how we’re digging ourselves into a financial hole by overspending on infrastructure that isn’t very productive. Chuck’s post a few days ago called Paved with good intentions is a good example. For the purposes of this post, let’s just assume we agree with […]

Minneapolis Bike Sharing

Hooray! Hooray! FHWA Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Project Report Released Today!

We finally have the report on SAFETEA-LU’s Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program! The FHWA released the report today, and it is now available to all for their delight and edification (PDF). This final report has been being promised since 2009 or so, with delivery dates being pushed later several times. This report has been of great […]