Archive | August, 2018

Seven Urbanism Lessons from the Minnesota State Fair

Much like Al’s Breakfast, the State Fair revels running against the conventional wisdom about what Minnesotans want in an urban experience. That’s one of the big reasons I enjoy going, and make sure to do so each year. There’s a lot that urban designers and decision makers can learn from the fairgrounds, and here are […]

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Ped Bike Grafs Ped Ins

Sunday Summary – August 26, 2018

The Great Minnesota Get-Together started August 23, so what better than Robert Roscoe’s My Annual Minnesota State Fair Experience. Of course, we’d like more stories, your stories about the Fair, too; here are some past posts for better than fair reading.   The week on streets.mn Chris Steller continues his investigation of pedestrians in history with […]

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The Shape of the Minneapolis Inclusionary Zoning Debate

Inclusionary zoning is an umbrella term for a wide range of policies designed to encourage or require the inclusion of affordable units in new housing construction. Here are three example scenarios from yesterday’s presentation to the Minneapolis City Council’s Housing Policy and Development Committee: Require 15% of a new building’s units be affordable to households […]

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Walking All the Streets of Western Hawthorne

Farview Park is the central feature of Minneapolis’s Hawthorne neighborhood, and fittingly enough, I visited it on all three days’ walks. On the first day, I cut through its northern tier and southeastern corner. On the second day, I started and ended at its southwest corner, but without entering the park itself. This time, I again started and […]

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My Annual Minnesota State Fair Experience

For the last however many years I ride my bike from my Prospect Park Neighborhood to Como Avenue, then park my bike in a bike corral next to an entrance near Snelling Avenue. A bike corral volunteer hands me a two-part numbered tag that I put on my bike, then I buy my State Fair […]

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Grocery Shopping by Bike

Someone recently asked me how you shop for groceries on a bike. It struck me as a question lots of people have probably never thought about, so why not write something about it? I think the first thing to keep in mind is that you’re probably going to have to shop for groceries more than […]

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Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Home Prices vs Inventory 2008 – 18

Here’s a chart from the recently released 72-page final report of the Governor’s Task Force on Housing, which is out today. It shows the relationship between housing supply and housing affordability for both the owner-occupied and rental markets within the Minneapolis area. Here you go: It’s a relatively straightforward situation happening here, with a tight […]

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Chart of the Day: Twin Cities Rental Vacancy versus Average Rents

Via the Star Tribune’s Editorial page, here’s a chart from the Met Council’s latest report on housing trends. It shows the average rents charted against the ever-tightening rental vacancy rate: Here are the key points from the report about this chart: The region’s rental vacancy rate has been under 5% since the fourth quarter of […]

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In 1923, You Could Buy Pedestrian Insurance for 75 Cents

If you subscribed to the Minneapolis Daily Star in 1923, you could get a year’s worth of pedestrian insurance for an extra 75 cents.   The add-on deal was just what it sounds like: insurance coverage for injuries (including fatal injuries) you might incur while walking across the street. The offer, through the North American Accident […]

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The Abandonment and Rescue of Landmark Center in Saint Paul

In 1969, demolition of one of the most elegant Richardson Romanesque-Chateauesque-Style public buildings in the Upper Midwest seemed imminent. The federal government had declared the nearly vacant Federal Courts and Post Office Building (later named Landmark Center) in downtown St. Paul to be surplus property. Many public officials and business leaders in the city saw […]

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