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Trip Report: Amtrak Empire Builder Chicago-St. Paul

[…] planned most of my 3-month summer tour of Europe, but I hadn’t decided on how I would return home. I narrowed my options to a flight from Europe directly to Minneapolis (boring, but the quickest), fly from Europe to Chicago and then Amtrak to St. Paul, or the very crazy and expensive idea of […]

Streets.mn Podcast #12 – Twin Cities v. Europe with Douglas Mack

[…] fondue in Zurich (for research purposes only).
In this episode, I sat down with Douglas Mack, a funny and brilliant  travel writer based in Minneapolis. His recent book, Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day, is a tale of venturing through Europe using a guide book from 1963, and in our conversation, I chatted with […]

Chart of the Day: Vehicle Miles Traveled vs. Change in Wealth Per Capita (Selected Countries)

[…] difficult to shift toward alternate modes of transit. If this transition seems challenging in places like Berlin and London, just imagine the challenges facing smaller cities across Europe and the United States.
Kind of interesting to page through. The conventional wisdom I’ve always heard is that wealthier people in other countries have cars at almost the same […]

Cycling’s Oasis in Odense (Denmark)

Prior to a 2 month hiatus, the EU BICI series travels to (arguably) Northern Europe’s best cycling success story: Odense. Denmark and the Netherlands have the best cycling culture and infrastructure of anywhere in the world. The “big city” stars in each, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, shine bright. Outside of these high profile centers, however, exist dozens of other communities, […]

Success is not IN the Water; it is BECAUSE of it? Bicycling in Ferrara (Italy)

It’s hard to figure out how Ferrara (Italy) achieved legendary status among Europe’s top cycling towns. The answer might not be in the water; but it could be because of it. The ferraresi embrace the bike as much as any place I have seen. But in way lacking self-consciousness, most residents fail to consider themselves […]

Looking Beyond Minnesota (But Beyond Europe, Too)

[…] could still learn from our counterparts across the world. In particular, there have been many efforts to apply urban planning practices and ideas most commonly associated with Europe – protected bikeways, shared streets, and (ahem) historic preservation, for example.
While this is a “woonerf-ul” trend, the collective peek over the shoulder of our transatlantic neighbors […]

Crime U

We incarcerate over seven times as many people as Europe (per capita).

While European countries average 305 law enforcement personnel per 100k people, we have only 248. And we must devote many more of these to prosecution, incarceration, traffic enforcement, and motor vehicle crashes.

This hasn’t made us any safer. You are more likely to […]

Uptown to Dinkytown: The Three Mode Analysis

After quasi-graduating this past spring and backpacking around Europe for two months, I have slowly adjusted back into reality. And, like a plethora of quintessential University of Minnesota millennial-aged graduates, I have moved from my humble, seven-people-in-a-four-bedroom college shack in the Dinkytown area to much greater (and less smelly) ventures in Uptown.
What isn’t typical about my current situation […]

Traffic Calming will be the Secret to Green Line Success

“It almost feels like living in Europe.” he told me. I was standing on the Hamline Avenue platform this weekend, chatting with another man waiting for the Westbound train. It was around sunset, just past the passing of a rainstorm. It was just the two of us. “Honestly, this is just the beginning,” I said. […]