Monthly Archives: August 2013

Fire Safety vs. Suburban Sprawl

A recent piece in the Star Tribune shows how suburban and rural cities are struggling to recruit fire fighters. The piece started an interesting conversation in an email thread, and I want to share part of it. Apparently, the traditional system set up to run fire stations is beginning to break down, particularly in cities […]

I-94 Congestion: A Simpler And Safer Solution?

The congestion on I-94 heading towards St Cloud, particularly on sunny Friday afternoons, can be infuriating. It’s understandable that a lot of people are calling for ‘something to be done.’. The quick reaction of politicians and others is a call to widen the thing—$30 million for another lane. Certainly that is the solution, they think. […]

Twin Cities Alignment Madness and the Perfect Network

I just looked at the number of posts I have in the hopper and its depressing.  I’ve started a lot of them but haven’t finished any of them because I’m trying to address too many issues.  So I thought maybe I should try to keep it a bit shorter (didn’t quite work), but not quite […]

Density and Transit: Some Numbers – Minneapolis St. Paul Edition

The Old Urbanist has a nice post from last year: Density and Transit: Some Numbers. I steal one of his graphs and quote his words: “While there are a few transit overachievers, notably Portland, Seattle, Boston and Washington D.C., the correlation is overall very strong. No city with an overall density of less than 4,000 […]

Open Streets – Minnehaha, and some further comments on the Blue Line and environs

I went with my family to attend Longfellow neighborhood’s Open Streets on Minnehaha on Sunday August 11, 2013. I hadn’t been to an “Open Streets” before, though I had been to various events where streets were closed, and this was like that, but more spacious and far more bikey. We drove to near the northern […]

Finding Your Inner Caveman: Grog have fun here (grunt)!

You heard it here first: Cavemen might very well be the next big trend (move over owls!). Of course, I base this on nothing but the whole Paleo-diet craze. But who cares?! Your family will want in on this pretend trend with this weekend’s Finding Your Inner Caveman at the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi […]

London Underground overlaid on Twin Cities Highway Network

What if Minneapolis-St. Paul had the London Underground?

Many people have complained that Minneapolis – St. Paul does not have a good transit network, or is not a “real” transit city. Well London does have a good network, and if any place is, London is a real transit city, so it is informative to compare. This map overlays the London Underground network on […]

Dinkytown: Successional Urbanism

Great places evolve over time. This is a healthy and historic form of urban growth. Among the constituent elements are a very light hand of government and, often, management genius—as well as normative patterns like the continental survey, the town grid, etc. But the key element is successional urbanism. Start small at the inauguration, and later build […]

Life in the Margins

Driving down I-94 recently, I noticed a bright orange patch of butterfly milkweed, wild bergamot, and pale purple coneflower growing along the highway embankment.  The plants were in bloom and stood out amongst the surrounding vegetation, even at 75 miles an hour.  The plantings were so vibrant that we were inspired to exit, park, climb […]

Podcast #41 – Improving Minneapolis with Mayoral Candidate Cam Winton

The podcast this week is a conversation with Cam Winton, who is running for Mayor of Minneapolis. As you’re probably aware, incumbent three-term mayor R.T. Rybak is not running for re-election, and the race this year is a wide open contest. Can Winton, a wind power entrepreneur from Southwest Minneapolis, has been running one of […]