Archive | January, 2013

Poll Shows Support For Sales Tax Hike to Fund Public Transit

A new statewide poll conducted by Minnesota’s three largest Chambers of Commerce—Minneapolis, St. Paul, and TwinWest—shows for the second year in a row that support for expanding the transit system in the metro area is strong. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that Minnesota “would benefit from having an expanded and improved public transit system, such […]

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Newflash: St. Paul isn’t Minneapolis (and that’s a good thing)

If you were to read the City of St. Paul’s legislative wish list, you’d see a list of big projects such as: $14 million to improve the Children’s Museum $7 million for parking and transportation improvements at Como Park $32 million loan forgiveness tied to the Xcel Energy Center (in an effort to not pay […]

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Seeking the transit-friendly highway

As I first started exploring Metro Transit’s bus network in college, I was struck by how much freeway mileage in the Twin Cities doesn’t carry any transit service.  Having grown up near Rochester and typically only visiting or driving through the metro area a few times per year, my mental map was mostly built up […]

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Value Capture: Funding Infrastructure – ULI Minnesota

Tomorrow, Thursday January 17, ULI Minnesota will be hosting a program entitled Value Capture: Funding Infrastructure. Scott Polikov of Fort Worth-based Gateway Planning, will be the presenter. Scott Polikov will be demonstrating the link between public improvements like transit service and streetscaping and private investment through the increased value and development potential of real estate […]

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4-to-3 Road Diets: The #1 Thing Cities Can Do Right Away to Improve Quality of Life

I have been re-reading Clay McShane‘s Down the Asphalt Path, an absolutely fascinating history of early 20th century urban engineering and street design debates. The history of asphalt may not sound interesting to you, but the book is absolutely filled with facts that amaze and astound, particularly if you pay any attention to contemporary transportation […]

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Not dead, but buried

About 150 years ago, London, then a metropolis of 2.8 million people, opened the Metropolitan Line, the world’s first subterranean railway. (There are many good histories.) Why did London go underground? It didn’t want its core (The City of London) sliced up with railways going hither and yon. It was not an unconsidered decision, the […]

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Solar access, land use and 30-year planning

By law, every community in the seven-county metro is supposed to adopt a comprehensive plan that includes “an element for protection and development of access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems”.  This requirement dates back to 1978, when there was an oil crisis and gasoline was $1.30 per gallon (or, close to what it […]

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Podcast #19 – Urban Sketching with Ken and Roberta Avidor

The podcast this week is a conversation with Ken and Roberta Avidor about urban sketching. The Avidors are local pen and brush artists, who are both part of the self-described cult of urban sketching, each making beautiful drawings in their journals of people, buildings, and urban landscapes that they encounter on their trips through the […]

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Do stroads cause more accidents?

FYI: You can read this on Strong Towns! The word “Stroad” has officially made it into the Urban Dictionary. “Noun. Portmanteau of “street” and “road”: it describes a street, er, road, built for high speed, but with multiple access points. Excessive width is a common feature. A common feature in suburbia, especially along commercial strips. […]

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What snow teaches us about roads

One thing I look forward to every winter is seeing where snow builds up in the roadways, effectively making that portion of the roadway unusable for several months until the spring thaw. I love that snow teaches us where people are driving, where they aren’t driving, and leaves evidence of them driving where they shouldn’t […]

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