Author Archive | Alex Cecchini

Minneapolis Property Taxes are High. Why?

Among urbanists, it’s basically an accepted Truth that more compact development patterns reduce public expenditures per resident. Fewer lane miles and feet of pipe per resident means lower tax bills, while also making it possible for services to cover more residents with the same physical infrastructure (police or fire stations, etc). There’s a whole organization around the idea based in […]

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How to Spend the Next Billion on Transit

The Twin Cities is gearing up to spend quite a bit of money on transit infrastructure over the next five-to-ten years. By my count, the Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT), Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT), Orange Line BRT, and Gold Line BRT will run a tab of nearly $4 billion. Some of these lines are more […]

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I Love Alleys

Alleys! They’re in the news! To be honest, they’re generally pretty boring places, perhaps undeserving of a love letter. Most people might even dislike them, even avoid them at all costs. As with most small, mundane details of the built environment, I think we sometimes take alleys for granted in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and it’s […]

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Please Enforce Hennepin Avenue Bus + Bike Lanes

You may have heard that taking the bus through downtown Minneapolis is slow as hell. It’s true. You also may have heard that most local bus routes that run north-south through downtown have been re-routed from Nicollet Mall: … and will be re-routed again to Hennepin Avenue on November 7th thanks to a very worthy protected bike […]

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The Battle for Two Feet in Brooklyn Park

I came across this news story last week about a public works proposal in Brooklyn Park, a northern suburb of Minneapolis (and future host to the end of a planned light rail line). As far as things go, this proposal is a pretty mundane function of local government: reconstructing a few 30+ year old streets, replacing some […]

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Applying the MAC Funding Model to Metro Transit

The recent hubbub around operations on a decade old runway at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP), operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), have unearthed a few interesting nuggets. I’m not really an airport or airplane operations buff. I mostly just appreciate that we have a fairly nice airport that I use relatively infrequently (though […]

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Map Monday – Minneapolis Commercial Street Traffic Trends

Imagine the city came to a local business street or node and proposed something like a bike lane, wider sidewalks, or any other design change that might cause vehicle traffic passing by to choose another route instead. Maybe the city wants to put in parking meters. The expected drop in traffic would be something like 10-20% […]

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Free Idea: Implement Transit + Freight Lanes

Here’s an honest question: does our current system of roads and streets really get goods delivered to market quickly and efficiently? If you ask any legislator pushing for more road spending or your random comment section warrior opposed to bike lanes, congestion is really hurting Twin Cities businesses. To the tune of $232 million a […]

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High Rises and the Transect

It’s probably safe to say that high-rises rank at the top of the list of things most residents don’t want to see in their neighborhoods. Fears of traffic, crime, depressed property values, and changing neighborhood (or even citywide) character for the worse will no doubt be cited in opposition. Even most pro-urban folks will agree that development […]

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Chart of the Day: Comparing Bus and Vehicle Fatality Rates on Urban Streets

Today’s chart of the day shows total fatality rates per vehicle mile (not passenger trip or mile as I detailed here) for urban transit buses and passenger vehicles. It uses fatality data from the 2011 National Transit Database and NHTSA Safety reports. The main difference here is that it compares passenger vehicle travel done only on […]

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