Archive | January, 2013

Podcast #21 – Rethinking Municipal Broadband Internet with Chris Mitchell

The podcast this week is a conversation with Chris Mitchell, director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, or the ILSR. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a Minneapolis and DC based think tank that focuses on bringing infrastructure and community decision-making back to the local level on a whole host […]

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Kids, Carpools & Walking: How a Safety Mentality Creates Unsafe Spaces

In the long-ago days of my misspent youth, I lived in an absolutely flat suburban community named for one of the seven hills of Rome. As children, we all walked to school, crossing two moderately busy streets along the way. On days when it unexpectedly began hailing sideways during the school day, a parent or […]

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Springfield and Shelbyville: My Hometown, USA

I forget if the ill-advised and ill-fated monorail from the Simpsons was in Springfield or neighboring arch-rival Shelbyville (or both). I just spent a four day working weekend doing a market study in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and they didn’t have a monorail. But maybe a little more coordinated transportation and land use planning would help not […]

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Three Ways to Improve Walkability Without Touching the Street

Most US cities, Minneapolis and St Paul included, are in dire need of traffic calming and complete streets.  Critical streets are dangerously overbuilt: corners have been widened, lanes widened, streets widened. Over the last half century, Herculean governmental and financial efforts have been thrown at reshaping our cities for driving at the expense of those […]

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There’s no business like snow business

Snow is a popular topic in the Great White North. Julie wrote A Salute To Snowy Streets, while Reuben discovers What snow teaches us about roads . I had a media inquiry a year ago on “Why we become such bad drivers when it snows”, I didn’t take it, but the question is interesting in […]

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Pedestrians prohibited north of the light rail station

Most metro area cities content themselves with ignoring pedestrians. A couple of cities have taken the unusual step of at least paying lip service to the idea that bipedal transportation should be safe, convenient, and comfortable. Bloomington, on the other hand, is trying to make a name for itself by actively discouraging pedestrians from using […]

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Utilizing the Space Beneath Bridges – Some More Examples

I want to thank Reuben for posting Utilizing the Space Beneath Bridges Since I cannot put images in comments, I will post these as further examples, from Borough Market, London, Brixton, and the Darling Harbour, Sydney, respectively. The first three pictures are under railway bridges, the last a freeway bridge.

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Utilizing the Space Beneath Bridges

Last week, David wrote about whether we should consider making better use of the space above our many depressed freeways. Today, I want to consider the opposite scenario: are we making the best use of the space beneath our elevated freeways and roadways? When freeways are constructed, it’s always cheapest to build them at-grade whenever […]

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Podcast #20 – The State of the State’s Transportation with Rep. Ron Erhardt

The podcast this week is a conversation state Representative Ron Erhardt of Edina about the state of the state’s transportation system. Representative Erhardt, who chairs the Transportation Policy committee in the House, was recently elected to represent Edina as a DFL Democrat after serving many years representing Edina as a Republican. He was forced into […]

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Addressing a neighborhood gap

Freeway development in the Twin Cities, while considered necessary for economic growth and to address traffic congestion, was not particularly kind to the neighborhoods it went through.  Where it didn’t destroy neighborhoods entirely, it seriously impacted them.  Once construction was complete, the neighborhoods had to contend with the noise and pollution from vehicles using the freeway.  The […]

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