2320 Colfax in 2014.

CM Glidden’s Thoughts on 2320 Colfax

I contacted City Council members prior to the final council vote on an appeal for a demolition permit at 2320 Colfax in Minneapolis’ Wedge neighborhood, much-discussed in posts here and here.  Council Member Glidden sent me a detailed response explaining the reasoning behind her vote, which she has given permission to post here.   Thank you very […]

Advocating for Good Urbanism at City Hall: 2320 Colfax

I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about how to advocate at City Hall for good urbanism. We spend a lot of time writing good posts on Streets.MN and debating in online chatrooms, but does that really move the needle at City Hall? Meanwhile, those of a preservationist mindset are always emailing […]

North Minneapolis Street Shops

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 […]

Freeway Interchange Concept

A History of Minnesota’s Highways, Part 6

This is Part Six of an ongoing series of the history of Minnesota’s trunk highway system. Part One covered the early days of government and privately built roads. Part Two covered the events leading up to the establishment of the trunk highway system in 1920. Part Three covered the coming of the U.S. numbered highways and the 1920s improvement projects.  Part Four covered […]

Sunday Summary – February 19, 2019

In Minnesota, we have Spring-like weather with highs in the 50s and 60s making it more pleasant to take a walk around our streets (although climate change worries lurk when muddy dog season starts in February). Thank you to those who responded to the board’s call for volunteers to serve on the streets.mn board; the […]

Simple Urbanism – Inspiration and Aspiration

As a follow-up to the critique of a recent post about the urban design of Harriet’s Inn, let’s consider the parts of the city that inspire us and the standards to which we should be aspiring. To do so, we need only look past Harriet’s Inn, as well as the gold standard for old urbanism […]

Median Rents v. Median Income

Obama To Cities: Build Some Housing Already

On September 26th, the Obama administration released the Housing Development Toolkit, signalling to the country that they are on Team YIMBY (that’s “Yes In My BackYard”). The document outlines the barriers for housing growth that many cities, including Minneapolis and Saint Paul, have been experiencing in recent years. Local zoning laws, outdated land use regulations, […]

Downzoning Can’t Save Us From the Future

I recently wrote about the rezoning that’s under consideration for Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill East neighborhood. After a few more weeks of thought, these are my big-picture concerns. Downzoning is Forever The city’s proposal has been described as interim protection that gets us through until the next update to the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan (the process for which is currently […]

A History of Downzoning

The year is 1995. A landlord is renovating his triplex when a concerned neighbor appeals to the neighborhood association for help. The organization comes to the rescue, deciding¹ that “because the building has been vacant for over a year, the nonconforming use expires and the building should revert to a duplex.” The neighborhood was Lowry […]

The Star Tribune presents “The Pedestrian Menace”

I like the Star Tribune. They do good work, and have had a lot of quality articles on urban design over the last year. But this last weekend, the front page of the Star Tribune had a big headline front and center, the prime A1 slot, declaring “A Deadly Year for Distracted Walkers in Minnesota.”  […]