Author Archive | Conrad Zbikowski

Forest Lake Roundabout Traffic On The Route

Meet a Roundabout: U.S. 61 in Forest Lake

“Meet a Roundabout” is a new series of posts about roundabouts in the Twin Cities area that are improving traffic efficiency and safety. Posts include pictures and video of the roundabout and a history of how it came to be. This is the third post in the series. On Saturday, I drove my father to […]

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2020 Toyota Prius Prime

Report: Electric and Plug-In Cars Have 21 Percent Fewer Lifetime Emissions Than Gas Ones

Recently, I wrote about the usage emissions of gas (internal combustion engine), hybrid, and electric vehicles. When we only look at emissions out of the vehicle tailpipe or electric plant smokestack, electric vehicles are clearly the cleaner option for the marginal mile of travel. But as several commenters noted, we really need to look at […]

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Lime Scooters

Review: Lime Gen 3 Electric Scooter 🛴

One sunny day, I saw one of Lime’s new Gen 3 electric scooters parked on the plaza near the Guthrie Theater. Lime introduced the Gen 3 in October of 2018, but I haven’t seen any of the new scooters hitting Minneapolis streets until now. Excited to test ride the new model, I took it for […]

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Graphic: What’s a Vehicle’s Carbon Footprint?

I recently took a test-drive in a Tesla Model 3. It was an impressive car, but the ride left me wondering: with all the electric horsepower under the hood, was it really better than a hybrid? The EPA has a dated, but functional website with all the fuel economy and energy efficiency information a driver […]

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Review: Xiaomi Mi M365 Pro Electric Scooter

Over the past several months, I have been disappointed with the availability of scooters, even in downtown Minneapolis, where they seem to be on every street corner. In the afternoon, as scooter batteries start to deplete, the nearest one with a full battery can sometimes be blocks away in the wrong direction. If you want […]

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Ritzy Rafter in CenHen Opens for Business

On Thursday, August 15, the new Rafter apartment building had its grand opening event. With fine hors-d’œuvres and libations, the parties gathered to celebrate the completion of another real estate development. It is said that the Rafter project is “named in honor of a group, or “rafter,” of wild turkeys known to call Northeast Minneapolis […]

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Reimagining Nicollet Mall for Micro-Mobility

During the NCAA Final Four, Nicollet Mall achieved what the planners had only dreamed of. It was a packed, vibrant hive of pedestrian activation with visitors shooting hoops, dining outside and even riding a Ferris wheel. The festivities ceded the 24-foot-wide bus lanes to pedestrians, and the activities and outdoor dining attracted crowds. Months later, […]

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12 Ideas to Improve Downtown Mobility

I was walking through the skyway near Nicollet Mall on Monday and watching the backed up traffic below. Single occupancy fossil fuel vehicles, car commuters, were “blocking the box” and preventing buses full of other commuters from getting home on time. The flow of pedestrians at every signal cycle was more than the number of […]

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Review: Nice Ride Electric-Assist Bike (2019)

On Monday, July 29, Nice Ride launched its electric-assist bike or “ebike” pilot. The press release gushed about how riders could “supercharge” their rides, and also highlighted Nice Ride’s new “Nice Ride for All” program for low-income riders. The program gives annual memberships to Nice Ride to people on either nutrition assistance (SNAP) or transit […]

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Lime Quietly Raises Prices on Scooter Rentals

Recently, Lime increased its pricing in Minneapolis and St. Paul from $1 plus 15 cents per minute to $1 plus 20 cents per minute. For a typical five-minute ride, this increases the total cost by 14 percent, from $1.75 to $2 even. For a longer ride of 10 minutes, the increase is 20 percent. Rival […]

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