Author: Justin Foell

Justin Foell

About Justin Foell

Justin is an aspiring urbanist stuck in suburbia. He enjoys cycling, beer, yo-yos, computers, and other geekery. Closet railfan.

New York, #1 Bike City

This experience was from two years ago, so the landscape has probably changed since then, but from what I gather, probably not. My friend got a job with Google Labs in New York and uprooted his family to move to Brooklyn. I was going to be in Annapolis, Maryland while touring with Minnesota Brass, so […]

Saint Anthony Village – Jekyll and Hyde Design

St. Anthony Village is an interesting suburban town. It has an excellent school district. It has pretty good “bones” – a solid grid system which has worked for centuries. Not much of the twisting, un-navigable dead-ends found in a traditional post WWII suburb: St. Anthony Village has sidewalks(!). And the intersections even have stuff like […]

Bells & Whistles

I love the civility and safety that a bell and whistle, respectively, convey. Then there’s the horn. A multi-tasking device that seems to only do one thing well: annoy. MN Statute 169.68 – The Horn (a) […] The driver of a motor vehicle shall, when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation, give audible warning with […]

How-To: 30daysofbiking

There’s no better way to get to know your neighborhood than on a bike. Faster than walking, but still out in the elements, riding lets you soak everything in at a brisk, but leisurely pace. The bicycle combines the best in accessibility with the best in mobility. As fans of the streets, we owe it […]

Plowing: You’re Doing It Wrong

Let’s expand on Walker’s article about the bone-shaking paths we’re subjected to walking and riding in winter… My question is: if a city has a plowing policy for paths, but not a “bare path” policy, is it worth it to plow the path at all?


In the world of software engineers, there are 10 types: those who speak binary, and those who don’t. Kidding aside, it is sort of akin to the political spectrum, except the labels are roles like the Idealist, the Architect, and the Pragmatist. After almost 15 years of developing software, I have decided that being a […]

The Magic of Right-of-Way

As Christian Lander stated in “Stuff White People Like” – they like Public Transportation That Is Not a Bus. I guess that narrows it down to trains: Light Rail, Subways, Commuter Rail, Trams, etc. Part of reason white people (and politicians, and developers) like rail transit is because the rails are part of the route. […]

A Tale of Two Signs

It was the best of times, it was the worse of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness… Consider for a moment a dichotomy that we’ve created. We’ve been driving cars for over one hundred years, and we’ve built our infrastructure around them. Every so often, the general public […]

The War on Cars

The War on Cars has a long history. Once the story hits NPR, you know it’s real, or maybe the existence of the #WARONCARS hashtag proves it. While the debate continues, I have determined the The War on Cars is real. If you really love cars, you’ll be surprised which side of the war you should […]

“Transport for Suburbia” applied to Minneapolis / St. Paul

Even if the entirety of suburbia is the worst urban planning move in history, one thing is for sure: suburbs aren’t going away. I live in a suburb, in a cul-de-sac even! Believe you-me no one is about to tear down all these houses and start over. So we’re going to have to learn to […]