Archive | December, 2012

How a chance encounter in St. Paul almost prevented World War II

The first manned flight may have been in 559, when the Emporer’s son, Yuan Huangtou of Ye, China was forcibly strapped to a kite and set airborne from a tower. Yuan Huangtou was later executed, and this experiment did not lead to any follow-on. The French Montgolfier Brothers designed and took off in a hot-air […]

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Best Current Plan: Access Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan

We are almost there, good readers; 2013, and the end of our gilded series on your opinions on where our fair cities are headed in the next year and beyond.  Unfortunately, I have the task of reporting on what was least popular subject: the Best Current Plan.  Woe is me. Of the 10 subjective and […]

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2012 Best Opportunity to Do Something Useful: Dinkytown Trench

Is usefulness useful? Broadly speaking, the definition of usefulness as applied to transportation was set in stone a zillion years ago as meaning the movement of as many vehicles as possible as quickly as possible. But those of us whose communities all those vehicles are moving quickly through, or who have lost loved ones to […]

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2012 Best Current Multi-Million Dollar Public Works Project: Central Corridor LRT

Of all the categories included in the Streets.mn “Best of” series, this category was the biggest blowout. With 92.2% of the votes, the winner of the award for the 2012 Best Current Multi-Million Dollar Public Works Project (by a landslide): Central Corridor LRT The eleven mile light rail project linking downtown Minneapolis with downtown St. […]

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2012 Best Farmer’s Market: St. Paul Farmer’s Market

The farmer’s market: Among the oldest forms of direct-to-consumer sales, these truly urban agoras bring the rural to the city, and exist all around the world in some form or another. They bridge the gap between city and country with commerce, and thus, it was inevitable we at streets.mn would ask readers where their favorite […]

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2012 Best Skyway/Underground System: Downtown Minneapolis

Skyways are often derided by idealistic urbanists. Critics point to barren downtown streetscapes and blame the skyways for lack of activity. In my previous life as a naive urban planning student learning about cities, I criticized them myself. But I now think of skyways in the same way as most people probably do: just another option […]

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2012 Best Trend (Hint: It’s not the Apocalypse)

I put off writing about the 2012 Streets.MN best trend until this morning in case all the raining fire and brimstone would surpass the other “best trend” candidates. But since we dodged that fate, it’s time to unveil the 2012 Best Trend results! Nice Ride Minnesota is the clear winner with 44.2% of the vote.  […]

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2012 Best Late 20th/Early 21st Century New Urbanist Simulacrum of Main Street: Excelsior and Grand

St. Louis Park’s Excelsior and Grand wins 2012′s best New Urbanist Simulacrum of Main Street. The Twin Cities doesn’t have a Seaside, Kentlands or even a Celebration. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because we have an Uptown, St. Anthony Main, Warehouse District, Cathedral Hill, etc. Our New Urbanist (NU) town centers are few and […]

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2012 Best Mid-Late 20th Century Enclosed Shopping Mall: Mall of America

When we at Streets.MN were dividing up who would write which “Best of” entry, no one else wanted shopping malls. One said “I’m cool with anything but the best indoor mall, since that doesn’t exist.” What do most urbanists want? A lively, pedestrian realm, clean, free of automobiles, with a variety of activities, the ability […]

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Podcast #17 – Stuff About Stuff About Minneapolis with Paul Merrill

This podcast this week is a conversation with Paul Merril, a life long resident of Minneapolis and/or Robbinsdale, who writes the amazing local history and urban planning tumblr website, Stuff About Minneapolis. We met the other day at the beautiful North Loop bar, Club Jager, to go behind the scenes of Paul Merril’s website. We […]

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