Archive | August, 2013

Our Fair State: A Streets.MN Summer Roadtrip!

Oh what a summer it’s been. With Dinkytown developments, streetcar shenanigans, LRT controversy and more, what’s a good Street Person to do except get out of town for a few days? While the State Fair rages in St. Paul Falcon Heights, join us as we look back at our summer vacations with misty eyes, and […]

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Podcast #42 – Minneapolis Ward 11 with City Council Candidate Matt Steele

The podcast this week is a conversation with Matt Steele, who recently filed to be a City Council candidate for Ward 11. Ward 11, currently represented by incumbent John Quincy, is the area in the southern part of the city, surrounding Lake Nokomis. Matt Steele is a long-time urbanist and technology consultant in the financial […]

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Keeping Green Streets Alive

Rain gardens and other streetside stormwater retention systems are designed to infiltrate street runoff, retain pollutants, and incorporate attractive plantings.  That is the vision, but the reality is that they are hard to get right, particularly in a cold climate like Minnesota.  What makes a curb-cut rain garden project sucessful? The move to install decentralized […]

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Wall A/C Units: They cannot be unseen

Warning! Subjective statements about architecture ahead. We’re in the midst of a multi-family building boom in the Twin Cities. Thousands of new units have been built in the past couple years, and the next couple years will see at least as many. This is great news–maybe all those Style section trendpieces about “the new urban […]

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Is Saint Paul Missing The Boat on its Riverfront?

I was listening to Kunstler’s podcast yesterday, and a recurring topic popped into my head. Kunstler was talking to John Norquist, the well-known ex-mayor of Milwaukee (and current head of the Congress for the New Urbanism), about the state of Midwestern cities today. During their discussion, Norquist began talking about the riverfront in downtown Milwaukee, […]

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Measure transit quality with your phone

Here are two graphs I made of accelerometer data logged by my smartphone during two different trips I took on Metro Transit lines back in June: One on light rail, and the other on a regular bus. They were just experiments and shouldn’t be relied on too much, but they do show that the two […]

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Picking a Streetcar Fight with the Met Council is the Right Move for Minneapolis

You might have missed it, but an interesting spat is brewing on the Twin Cities’ transit scene. Last month, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously supported funding a streetcar project that would from Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, down Nicollet Mall, and all the way to 46th Street in South Minneapolis. Soon after, the Met Council, […]

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Autonomous Cars and Simple Machines

 Simple Machine: a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force. In general, a simple machine can be defined as one of the simplest mechanisms that provide mechanical advantage (also called leverage). (Wikipedia definition for Simple Machine) The reason autonomous, or driverless, cars are important is the same reason reducing greenhouse gas emissions […]

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Racial Dot Map

The Racial Dot Map shows at the level of one dot per person the racial makeup of every census block in the US. This map was created by Dustin Cable of the Cooper Center.  Below is a zoom on Minneapolis. Cable writes: “While Minneapolis and St. Paul may appear purple and racially integrated when zoomed […]

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