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.

Summer 2022 Highway News Roundup

Google Maps Silliness Minnesota has about a hundred legally named highways and bridges, written into law in Minnesota Statute § 161.14. Some of the early ones like the Viking Trail and the Sioux Trail were possibly intended to mark motoring touring routes. But overwhelmingly the highways are named in memory of local politicians, veterans or […]

Spring 2022 Highway News Roundup

The Chestnut Street Pedestrian Plaza Project to Get Underway in Stillwater As part of the ongoing effort to revitalize its waterfront and reclaim its downtown from the traffic in the wake of the St Croix Crossing opening, Stillwater is prepared to rebuild a two-block section of Chestnut Street leading up to the lift bridge. After […]

Highway News Roundup, Fall 2021

E-ZPass Electronic Toll Interoperability is Now Here As I’ve written about several times before, there was a 2012 federal mandate to have electronic toll collection be interoperable nationwide by 2016. In practical terms this would mean you’d be able to use your same toll transponder to pay tolls nationwide. That deadline came and went without […]

I-35W Mississippi River Bridge

Summer 2021 Highway News Roundup

As the 2021 construction season moves into high gear, I thought I’d try something different and write about a few things that have gone on around the state the past year, interesting enough to present here but probably not deserving of their own full article. The St. Francis Highway 47 Safety Project by St. Francis […]

Some Alternative Options in Detached Housing, Part Two

Many people want to live in a new-construction, detached home, but the traditional way to achieve that – owning your own house and lot – may not be achievable or desirable for all. Part one of this series covered two options: owning the interior only of a detached structure, either a traditional detached townhome, or […]

Some Alternative Options in Detached Housing, Part 1

There’s many advantages to living in a detached house – they generally offer more space, more separation and privacy from neighbors, and a discrete place to drive up to, look at, and call your own. But there’s definitely drawbacks to the primary ways of acquiring a detached home (owning a house and land or renting […]

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 […]