Author: Monte Castleman

About Monte Castleman

Monte is a long time "roadgeek" who lives in Bloomington. He's interested in all aspects of roads and design, but particularly traffic signals, major bridges, and lighting. He works as an insurance adjuster, and likes to collect maps and traffic signals, travel, recreational bicycling, and visiting amusement parks.

An EZPass Transponder

E-ZPass Electronic Toll Collection Comes to Minnesota

Nationwide Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) Interoperability has been an elusive goal for some time. In practical terms that would mean you’d be able to use your MnPASS transponder to pay tolls on a road trip to Chicago or in your rental car in Florida, and in turn, residents of those states would be able to […]

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Stillwater’s Parking Ramp Problems

This is Part Four in a loosely-related series of the evolution of retail and parking issues. Part One covered the alleged dislike of people for parking ramps and why it’s causing problems for the Shops of West End. Part Two covered the evolution of regional retail from downtown to lifestyle centers. Part Three compared several […]

Arbor Lakes Lifestyle

Twin Cities Lifestyle Centers Compared

This is the third article in a series on the evolution of retail and parking issues. Part One looked at issues with West End’s parking ramp as described in a Twin Cities Business magazine article. Then Part Two followed the evolution of regional retail from urban downtowns to suburban malls to suburban lifestyle centers. Now […]

Arbor Lakes Main Street

From Shopping Malls to Lifestyle Centers

On why structured parking is allegedly problematic for regional retail in general, which is causing problems at West End.  This installment will look at the overall evolution of regional retail – from downtown, to the regional malls, to lifestyle centers like West End.  Downtown 2.0: The Mall With the massive movement of people to the […]

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The Shops of West End’s Parking Ramp Problem

A Parking Problem St. Louis Park’s lifestyle center, The Shops of West End, has problems. Its vacancies are more than double the metro average and a 20,000 square foot block has never been filled. In March, 2019 the Twin Cities Business Magazine did an article on why. The article is well worth a read; it […]

Notes From the Minnesota Statewide Passenger Rail Plan Meeting

On Jan 7, a meeting on the Minnesota Statewide Passenger Rail plan was held at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center in Savage, and streets.mn was invited to join other local media outlets and elected officials to hear about updates to the plan. No one else from streets.mn said they were going, so, because I […]

Highway Memorial

The Causes of Crashes: Case Study in Waseca

As part of an occasional series of posts on looking at the causes of crashes, here’s an investigation of one that occurred in the town of Waseca. (See also  “The Causes of Crashes  and   Tesla’s Self-Driving Car Euphoria Gets Jolted.  Although my intent in this series is not to come across as  “victim blaming”, in […]

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A History of Traffic Management Technology

Earlier I wrote about the history of our Interstate Highway System (Part One and Part Two) and how they were partly a 1930s response to growing urban congestion, as big of a threat to the freedom of mobility as mud and ruts were only a few decades before. However the dream of ending congestion didn’t […]

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Bloomington’s Comprehensive Plan: Forward 2040

Bloomington’s 2040 Plan, titled “Forward 2040” was officially adopted by the city on Aug 5, 2019. Unlike in Minneapolis, it passed with little notice and little controversy. Here are a few points that caught my attention. Housing and Diversity Although the need for more high density housing is acknowledged like in the Minneapolis plan, here […]

Freeway At Night

The Tower Lights of the Freeways

The Moonlight Towers While traveling along the freeways you may have noticed that some lights are mounted on huge towers rather than short poles. The idea of lighting a large area with high-mounted lights dates from the dawn of the electrical era, with carbon arc lights. Here’s one from San Jose. And here is one […]