Archive | August, 2012

Down With Lawns: Community Gardening in the Suburbs

The iconic suburban lawn may be losing popularity. Oh, sure. Restrictive covenants still exist, and the guy who uses his leaf blower to vacuum up the lawn mulch wearing nothing but a Speedo at 9 at night in July still wanders, white hairy chest on display, in many communities. But as suburbanites face slowed development […]

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How to Slow Traffic – Put S#!t in the Way

One of my favorite comedy bits is Robin Williams having an imaginary conversation with a Scotsman about how the Scots invented golf. You can view it on YouTube here (the key to this post occurs at 1:21), and it goes something like this: “Aye, here’s my idea for a sport. You knock a ball in to […]

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Traffic calming on Park and Portland: a good start in overcoming the complexities of multiple jurisdictions

Park and Portland Avenues, Minneapolis’ twin one-lane north-south STROADS, were scheduled for a “mill and overlay” next year. (For those that don’t know, a mill and overlay is when they scrape off the asphalt surface of the street and lay down a fresh coat of blacktop.) It’s a great opportunity to change the lane configuration […]

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All Minnesota’s Affair

For the 12 days before and including Labor Day, Minnesotans reconvene at the State Fair. It is traditional and embedded in the culture. It matters here, unlike the fairs in other states I have lived (Maryland, Georgia, California). It is reportedly the best in the United States. The evidence for its centrality is that the […]

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Why the New Stadium Won’t Save Downtown East, and Why That’s a Good Thing

Much of the discussion leading up to the Great Stadium Decision of 2012 had to do with whether or not a new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis would be the economic boon that downtown so badly needs in order to attract the 70,000 new residents the city hopes to house there by 2025 (not […]

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Streets.mn Podcast #7 – Re-Opening Lake Street with Robert Lilligren

This week’s episode of the Streets.mn podcast is an interview with Minneapolis Councilmember Robert Lilligren, who represents the area aroudn Lake Street and Nicollet. A little while back, while working on a story for Streets.mn, our contributor Prescott Morril interviewed Lilligren about his project to un-do the terrible K-Mart development project from the 70s. I […]

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The Great Bike Helmet Debate

There are a few conversations about bikes that inevitably get repeated over and over again without anything getting resolved. Why won’t bikers stop at stop signs? Why are cyclists in the road when there’s a perfectly good path right next to the road? The most recent question to rear it’s head in the local papers is […]

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Who doesn’t love a good tailgate?

“All of the concept drawings of the now-approved Vikings stadium proposal include large swaths of dedicated tailgating lots near the stadium. If Minneapolis builds these lots, the new facility will simply repeat the development mistakes of the area surrounding the Metrodome.” – Sam Rockwell at MinnPost Who doesn’t love a good tailgate? Back in the […]

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Roads, Streets, STROADS and Park Roads

I just returned from a great week out west with my family. We had a stop in the Black Hills then moved on to Yellowstone and finally Grant Teton. It was a trip we had been waiting for our two daughters to get a little older to make. With the youngest heading to “Kinder-camp” this […]

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Finding solutions for the Empire Builder’s capacity problems

Despite its unreliability and low frequency of service, Amtrak’s Empire Builder often faces capacity issues. The train serves 45 stations along the way from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest, resulting in an immense possible number of trip combinations.  Some trips become impossible to book because of other riders who overlap on part of the route.  […]

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