Monthly Archives: June 2012

Minnesota skunked in TIGER 2012

For the past three years, Minnesota has been visited by a TIGER from the east, who brought bags of cash for us to use on transportationy things.  This year, the TIGER skipped over us, saving his magic bags to open over other states.  What happened?  What did or didn’t we do that displeased the TIGER? […]

Planning to Fail: Parking at Blaine Lakeside Commons Park

Sometimes, “beat practices” in planning churn out some ridiculous scenarios and results. A good example of this occurred in Blaine. Developers are required to set aside land in new developments for public space, something considered a best practice — it encourages neighborhood open space and community. Super, right? Well, in 2010, this requirement led to […]

Nicollet, the Greenway and K-Mart: A Vision for Discussion

We’ve all seen it, and by-in-large, we all loathe it: the K-Mart on Lake Street between Blaisdell and 1st Ave S.   You know, that place where Minneapolis’ main street used to come through.  Last spring I had the opportunity to analyze this site in-depth as my landscape architecture and urban planning capstone project. At this […]

Another DOT Fiddles

Last month I wrote about an article that appeared in PE, the official magazine of the National Society of Professional Engineers (Engineering’s Echo Chamber, May 29, 2012). In the article, I took the engineering profession (of which I am a member) to task for blaming everyone but themselves for America’s failing infrastructure. I indicated that […]

What Minneapolis Planners should have said to Trader Joe

A city council committee is expected to vote later today about whether to move ahead with plans for a new Lyndale Avenue Trader Joe’s store. The store is controversial. Building the project would involve razing a block of old two-story mixed-use buildings along Lyndale, and require negotiating with Minneapolis’ (Lutheran) ordinance about liquor store density. If […]

My Son You Are an Urban Man Now

The time has come, the time is now. Ellis you are an urban man. For today, my son, you turn six years old. You have grown up in the city and now is the time for you to fly. You see, our local transit system, Metro Transit, allows you to ride the trains and buses […]

Notes on Walking about Harvard Square

The area around Harvard Square is livelier than Dinkytown or Stadium Village, even though the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, with some 52000 students is 2.5 times larger than Harvard with just over 21000 students. In part this is due to concentration, the U splits its adjoining retail into Dinkytown and Stadium Village plus West […]

Timing is everything – rated G

Bowdlerization helps focus this post on traffic signal programming, also posted on my blog in a more digressive version.  It was inspired by a column by CM Tuthill in the latest issue of Lowry Hill East’s neighborhood newspaper The Wedge, which has some great news about changes to signal timing at a couple key Uptown […]

Minneapolis Gives Streets a Chance

My beloved hometown of Minneapolis is vastly cooler now than it was just a week ago, a year ago, definitely more than two years ago. Why? Two things – Food Carts and Open Streets. Urbanites are letting their actions demonstrate their desire to be in the public realm, enjoy the public realm, be urban – […]

The predicament of local government

Local government cannot be a proxy for a productive economy, just as infrastructure spending cannot be a proxy for real growth. The demand for viable infrastructure needs to emerge from a productive land use pattern, just as a healthy and viable local government can only emerge from a productive place. If we want stability at […]