Archive | June, 2020

New Housing Lowers Rents in Minneapolis; St. Paul, Not So Much

There’s an ongoing and tedious debate about whether or not building new market-rate apartment housing helps or hurts affordability in US cities. The argument is tedious not because it’s an uninteresting question, but because nothing seems to change. “You can’t build your way out of a housing crisis,” on one hand; “we have a housing […]

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Revisiting Stepping Up MN: A Virtual Cleanup (April 2020)

Much has changed since initiating Stepping Up MN, a virtual cleanup launched at the end of April to mobilize eager volunteers for community betterment. COVID-19 had us cloistered and adhering pretty religiously to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines against viral transmission. Litter accumulated in the streets, with city workers reassigned or […]

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Every Map is the Same Map

Have you ever looked at a map of Saint Paul and thought “Haven’t I seen this map before?” I’ve had that thought many times, for example when we’re talking about folks getting hit by cars.   Or when we’re talking about money.   Doesn’t seem to matter if the problem is small. Doesn’t seem to […]

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National Links: Creating Spaces for People

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

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Food and Permanence

Since buying a house in 2017, I’ve been planting trees. As of today, I have added 12 trees and about 37 woody shrubs, many of which are fruit- or nut-bearing. In a few years, these should provide a cornucopia of fresh food for both us and the wildlife. Right now, though, they produce almost nothing. […]

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Fun Weeds You Can Eat

Why eat weeds? A weed is just a plant in the wrong spot, the saying goes. It might also just be a plant we haven’t sufficiently appreciated yet. Eating weeds fundamentally changes our relationship to the world around us. It requires a shift of perspective that is a quiet revolt against the 20th-century ideals of […]

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First Ride: Nice Ride and Lyft Introduce New Electric Bike for 2020

In November of 2019, Nice Ride announced that for 2020 it was planning to add, “2,000 pedal-assist electric bikes to fleet beginning in April 2020.” The world has changed a lot since last fall, and many in the rental community were wondering if we would ever see anything electric on the streets this year. With […]

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National Links: A Soul Crushing Urban Commute

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

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Living In The City Does Not Mean Being Disconnected From Nature!

During this era of isolation due to COVID-19, I’ve found myself walking, biking, and generally spending more time outside. I’ve had a lot of time to notice the natural world more than I used to and I’ve been able to experience the landscape and soundscape of my yard and neighborhood with a more profound appreciation. […]

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A Comprehensive Transit Overhaul for the Twin Cities: Part III

This is the final entry of a three-part series detailing the rapid transit and regional rail requirements for the Twin Cities to become a transit-oriented, climate-neutral metropolitan region. The prior two weeks looked at rail rapid transit and bus rapid transit, respectively. This article will focus on regional rail in the Twin Cities and Greater […]

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