Archive | March, 2013

Inducing demand for sustainability

The idea of induced demand is a strange one. You would think that building a highway or widening a road would alleviate congestion by spreading out the existing traffic across more space, and that would be the end of it. Toss in a little extra width in anticipation of population growth, and it should be […]

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A Public Transit Pope? Don’t Count On It

Yesterday, the Catholic Church selected a new Pope. Even here in quiet Minnesota, this was noted — the bells of the Basilica of St. Mary, the Cathedral of St. Paul, and the University of St. Thomas were quite notable to locals. One of the immediate reactions was for news organizations and transportation nerds to call […]

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A Failure of Frontage

Do cities have a “failure of frontage?” I credit Dan Parolek of Opticos Design for coining the term. When I was researching my post on form-based codes in the Bay Area, Dan explained he believes cities everywhere have a failure of frontage, that we focus so much on other elements of urbanism that we overlook […]

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Six Less Obvious Benefits to Streetcars

Streetcars are trending in North American cities these days. Portland, Seattle, Toronto, Charlotte and Cincinnati are all on board. Minneapolis has a streetcar plan for Nicollet and Central Avenues, and Saint Paul is just a step or two behind. Still, though, whether or not it’s a good idea to build streetcar systems is one of […]

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Five Rules for Vital Streets

Streets are vital when there is the feeling that there is something going on, of being where the action is. Successful places have vitality. By definition, dead places don’t. We don’t want too much vitality everywhere (I don’t want it on my street after 9 pm) and probably can’t support it. But surely we could […]

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A Glimpse of Biking Network Effects

Recently I’ve become the steward of an amazing and rich set of non-motorized transportation data through work with Bike Walk Twin Cities (BWTC), a local non-profit administering the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP), since 2007 (part of the SAFETEA_LU legislation). This $28M pilot program, awarded to 4 communities around the country and luckily our […]

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A Streets.mn Bibliography

I got some rare feedback about the Streets.mn podcast the other day, from a listener. Check it out: Hi,Thanks for the excellent podcast, I’ve been enjoying it. I was wondering if you guys would consider posting a page that’s just a reading list of all of the books that get mentioned in passing in the podcast. […]

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Kenilworth Trail

Welcome the streets.mn flickr moderators!

We had a pretty great response to our request for volunteer flickr moderators for the streets.mn photo pool.  While there were many worthy candidates, two led the pack with their interesting ideas and skillful eye.  Please welcome Allie Klynderud and Joe Scott.  They’ll be mining the depths of flickr for great shots and reaching out […]

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Lowertown’s Parking Challenge

This map sparked a few disparaging tweets, including a small #twitterwar with a City Council member. As it turns out, people get riled up about parking. It is as if they feel they are entitled to parking and the benefits thereafter. These blue spaces represent off-street surface parking lots and parking garages; but do not […]

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Welcome to Stadium Village: The 21st Century Dinkytown

It is a local myth that Bob Dylan’s 1965 hit “Positively 4th Street” was written about our own little University commercial node. The well-known shopping, eating, and party-spilling area of Dinkytown does indeed have a strong history, starting as its own streetcar node before the University was the true engine it is today and essentially […]

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