Archive | July, 2020

The Orchard in My Backyard: Urban Fruit Plants

I first saw the trees in the depth of winter, when snow covered everything. They looked like normal, small, trees on a normal, small, city lot. I was excited by the nature surrounding the house I was going to live in, and by the potential of what I could harvest from these trees, vines, and […]

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National Links: Rich People Have Big Homes, More Emissions

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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Building New Wind Power is Cheaper Than Any Other Power Source

Electricity prices are not directly related to creating safer streets for all, but they are related to our interests in housing and the environment. It is important to recognize some of the turning points in the history of sustainable energy. One of those turning points happened just last year, when onshore wind power (like that […]

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Shopping for Food, and Community, at Aldi

A grocery store arose at the corner of Penn and Lowry in the middle of a federally designated food desert some years ago, but it was no mirage. With healthy foods, organic produce and household items, Aldi is my oasis. The costs stay low through small measures: no fancy displays, no free bags, no piped-in […]

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(Some) Electric Scooters Have Returned

The City of Minneapolis recently approved agreements with two electric scooter operators, Bird and Lyft, under the Nice Ride nonprofit banner. Under the agreements, the two operators can each deploy 1,250 scooters, with a cap on scooters in Downtown. They also require a minimum number of scooters to be available in areas lacking last-mile transit […]

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Are New Buildings Ugly or Beautiful?

I had a spicy Twitter exchange the other day with Max Nesterak, who has been doing great work at his new website, the MN Reformer. The question he posed rekindled some long-simmering thoughts I’ve been having about the eternal question “are new buildings bad?” Here’s the tweet: Who’s going to write an op-ed for @MNReformer […]

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National Links: 45,000 Half Empty Buildings

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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The Lake/Minnehaha Rebuild Is an Opportunity to Redefine Our Alleys

Following the reprehensible conduct of police in the treatment and death of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, peaceful protests became agitated by subsequent aggression and retaliation by police in riot gear. Some strayed from the initial focus of the peaceful protestors upon the Minneapolis Police Department Third Precinct building, setting fire to neighborhood buildings […]

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Old Shakopee and 98th: From Death Road to Multimodal Corridor

The Old ShakopeeRoad/98th Street Corridor is one of the east-west thoroughfares of Bloomington. It’s also an outdated roadway. Several segments are a four-lane death road, the sidewalks are narrow and buckling, and traffic typically goes 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. The route has several high-traffic destinations, including the Mall of […]

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New Nice Ride Electric-Assist Bikes are Rare Finds

This year, prior to COVID-19, Nice Ride Minnesota promised to release 2,000 new electric-assist bikes. Those bikes arrived a few weeks ago, and we got a chance to test ride them. The new blue-wheeled bikes are on a promotional pricing right now, so all of my rides have been less than a dollar. During the […]

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