Author: Alex Schieferdecker

Alex Schieferdecker

About Alex Schieferdecker

Alex Schieferdecker is from New York City, lived in Minnesota for six years, and now lives in Philadelphia. He is still unhealthily invested in Twin Cities politics and development. Please help. His twitter handle is @alexschief.

A Transit Planning Order of Operations

On Monday, August 3rd, the Metropolitan Council and a coalition of groups supporting the METRO Blue Line Extension (also known as Bottineau LRT) made a major announcement. After years of fruitless negotiations with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad over an agreement to run light-rail trains in their right-of-way, the public partners announced that […]

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“Urban Progressivism” Didn’t Cause The Racial Housing Gap, Racism Did

Since the murder of George Floyd and the social unrest that followed, the Star Tribune has been publishing a series of editorials reflecting and commenting on the proposals that have emerged to address the issues of police violence and the racist system that underpins and fuels it. Unfortunately, before retroactively seeking out and publishing the […]

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What Happens When You Build Things Near Transit? An Unsurprising Case Study

A few weeks ago, I spoke to an older couple who, over the course of our conversation, mentioned that they had both attended the University of Minnesota. I am not a Gopher alum, but I did live near to the campus for a couple of years, on a little stub of 4th Street SE near […]

Minneapolis’ North Loop Viaducts Offer A Unique Opportunity

Some weeks ago, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat and a team of architects unveiled a bold and expensive new idea for Minneapolis’ Mississippi riverfront. The plan received a warm reception from Chamber of Commerce and Editorial Board types, but a more lukewarm response among the two groups of people whose opinions I most often seek: […]

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Bus Lanes Now For Downtown Minneapolis

I started writing this piece in my head on December 2nd, a cold, slushy evening on which I attempted to take the bus from downtown Minneapolis to Lyndale and 28th in order to attend a public meeting about street safety. I say “attempted” because—although I did eventually get to where I wanted to go—very little […]

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How Minneapolis Can Become A Transit City In One Decade

In the past month, the excellent transit blogger Alon Levy has written two posts that have particular relevance for places like the Twin Cities. This isn’t always the case, since Levy is more commonly focused on America’s older and larger transit systems (especially New York). His perspective is shaped by having lived in a number […]

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Steve from Wayzata’s Long Fourth-Quarter Walk

On Thursday, October 24, the Minnesota Vikings played a home game against a semi-professional team from Washington, D.C. Sometime the weekend after, Steve Arundel, a fan from Wayzata who attended the game, wrote about his experience to the Star Tribune. On Monday, October 28, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporter Nick Halter noticed the letter in […]

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To Decarbonize Transportation, MnDOT Needs To Challenge Itself To Reduce VMT

Just this past week, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) released a report entitled “Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation” that models various ways for the state to achieve its climate goals. These goals were set in the Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA) that was passed in 2007 and signed by Governor Tim Pawlenty (!!!). Minnesota aimed […]

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Building a Network of Rapid Buses — How to Serve Northeast Minneapolis

Several weeks ago, I published a series of articles on a potential path forward for rapid bus projects in the Twin Cities. I made an inventory of possible corridors, compared their current transit performance, and finally proposed a 2035 network of twenty routes. I got phenomenal feedback from a number of people who are excited […]

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Building A Network Of Rapid Buses — A Future Network

If you take away anything from the first two of this series of articles, it should be that we need to know more. Only Metro Transit has the data and staff hours needed to do a thorough review of the options for aBRT expansion. But such a review is clearly needed. While my basic analysis […]