Author Archive | Julie Kosbab

Down With Lawns: Community Gardening in the Suburbs

The iconic suburban lawn may be losing popularity. Oh, sure. Restrictive covenants still exist, and the guy who uses his leaf blower to vacuum up the lawn mulch wearing nothing but a Speedo at 9 at night in July still wanders, white hairy chest on display, in many communities. But as suburbanites face slowed development […]

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Vacant Property Ordinances: Help or Harm?

Vacant homes. Drive through certain neighborhoods in either Minneapolis or St. Paul, and you’ll see quite a few of them. No one likes to live next door to a vacant house.  A high vacancy rate is not good for any neighborhood. And the cities don’t like it. As a result, they have enacted regulations around vacancies, […]

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Planning to Fail: Parking at Blaine Lakeside Commons Park

Sometimes, “beat practices” in planning churn out some ridiculous scenarios and results. A good example of this occurred in Blaine. Developers are required to set aside land in new developments for public space, something considered a best practice — it encourages neighborhood open space and community. Super, right? Well, in 2010, this requirement led to […]

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Hooray! Hooray! FHWA Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Project Report Released Today!

We finally have the report on SAFETEA-LU’s Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program! The FHWA released the report today, and it is now available to all for their delight and edification (PDF). This final report has been being promised since 2009 or so, with delivery dates being pushed later several times. This report has been of great […]

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More Kids’ Bike Rodeos = More Adults on Bikes

Want to see more adults on bikes? Encourage communities to hold more kids’ bike rodeos. And it’s not just about “raising little cyclists,” although indoctrinating educating them young as to handling skills and traffic navigation is a lovely contributor to the goal of putting more adults on bikes in 10-20 years. I’m talking about right […]

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Four Ways to Build a Better Advocacy Event

March (thus far!) has been a month of summits — the Minnesota Bicycle Summit happened March 5, the National Bicycle Summit is happening right now, and several Transportation and Tourism Summits occurred in Minnesota. All have focused on various forms of advocacy in various venues. I’ve been to a few of these events this year […]

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Safe Routes to Schools: Getting the Message Right

Safe Routes to Schools is a state and federal program that assists communities in fixing development problems that make it unwieldy for children to bike or walk to school. Through competitive grants and education, Safe Routes encourages communities to bring back the practice of getting to school under kid-power, reducing obesity and greenhouse emissions. One […]

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