Archive | May, 2012

Cross-subsidies

We subsidize transit to spur development. Finance & Commerce: Apple Valley hopes BRT line can spur development near transit stations Metropolitan Council: Twin Cities regional transitways will spur economic development – May 2011 message from Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh Mass Transit: New Lechmere Station for MBTA Spurs Development We subsidize development to spur transit […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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An alternative design for Park and Portland

The Minneapolis Bike Coalition has put forward their preferred design for a redesigned Park & Portland (for background on these streets, see here and here).  Full disclosure: I helped with the street rendering. From the Bike Coalition blog: Key features: Remove a traffic lane that isn’t needed. The core of this proposal is transforming one of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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