Author Archive | Evan Roberts

Inclusionary Zoning: Understandable Politics, Terrible Policy

Inclusionary zoning–a local government mandate that some new developments set aside some housing units at an “affordable” price point–is being discussed in Minnesota. Several Minneapolis council members have been supportive of an inclusionary zoning ordinance, and the council gave notice at the end of last year that they’re studying inclusionary zoning with an eye towards […]

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Shoveling is Hard Work

I walked to the grocery store on Sunday, pushing the jogging stroller all the way. I’m an able-bodied person and one of the things I like about taking the kid for a walk is that I get a greater appreciation for how others see the city: if you are mobility challenged, the winters must be full of […]

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Fire and Ice in Prospect Park North

There was a fire on Sunday night (January 17, 2016) at the Harris Machinery warehouse in the “Prospect North” neighborhood. In an area full of potential and challenge for redevelopment, the Harris building was one of the few old buildings with realistic prospects of re-use. Built in the 1880s the building was rare for surviving […]

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15 things I’ve Learned in 1500 Miles of Stroller Running

It’s way easier to get a child into a stroller than a car seat. Most Minnesota drivers ignore the crosswalk laws. But they’re more likely to stop for you when you have a stroller. There are two interpretations of this pattern. Strollers genuinely make you more visible. Or, there’s a lot of chosen ignorance of […]

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Awnings: Shelter from the Storm

It’s one of the rare rainy seasons in Minnesota, and for that rarity I personally am glad having grown up in a climate more like Seattle’s and Portland’s than the Twin Cities. Climate is an important motivator for infrastructure decisions. I have to confess that the climatic explanation for why we have skyways is not […]

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Chart of the Day: The Demography of Cycling Deaths

The Centers for Disease Control released a report on Monday about long-term trends in cycling deaths. At first glance you may think “great, cycling mortality is declining!”. However, as previously discussed on streets.mn cause-specific mortality rates are a funny thing. They reflect the sum of the riskiness of an activity, and the frequency of the […]

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A Busman’s Holiday, or streets.mn Readers on Vacation

There’s a lovely phrase in British [Empire] English: a busman’s holiday. It’s a simple idea, when a bus driver goes on holiday he—the phrase dates to 1893—takes a bus to his destination and might even ride on the box-seat beside a driving friend. Other professions can take busman’s holidays: locum physicians, teachers going to summer […]

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MetroTransit’s Signage: Still Room for Improvement

Maybe it’s churlish, maybe it’s against some unwritten bylaw of Minnesota Nice, but it does feel a little bad to be criticizing Metro Transit’s signage in the week they finally got real time arrival information working on the light rail. Nevertheless I will … In the last month little “Green Line” signs have appeared on […]

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Minnesota Needs Better Public Safety Advertisements

The annual British Arrows Awards were a good reminder that the best thing on TV is sometimes the advertisements, and how good public safety advertisements in other English-speaking countries are. (Unfortunately the showings are sold out until the end of their run on 4 January) Here, for example, is one of the award winning ads: […]

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Selling Parklands to Save Them

Yesterday on Twitter I suggested selling part of Iris Park in Saint Paul to developers for housing. Right across from Fairview Ave station is this desolate park. I say sell part of it off for building. http://t.co/QoqWrw1UTr — Evan Roberts (@evanrobertsnz) December 17, 2014 The reaction was mixed. Lots of people love Iris Park; I […]

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