Author Archive | Nathaniel M Hood

An Unlikely Success: The Dismantling of the Northside Greenway

“City rolls back some aspects of Irving Avenue greenway in north Minneapolis” – Minneapolis Star Tribune (11/19/2016) I read the above headline with disappointment. An experimental tactical urbanism project is coming to an end. Or, as the local paper wittingly puts it, “the experimental greenway project for north Minneapolis, it’s not so green anymore.” Early in […]

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Eating Spam Downtown: A Story of Big Box Reuse

What to do with the empty boxes at the edge of town? The small town of Austin, Minnesota, was faced with this question. They had an answer. The largest employer in town, Hormel Foods, swept-in and transformed an empty K-Mart into something special. The Spam Museum is one-of-a-kind; there are no others. And, for this […]

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Suburban Annexation is a Bailout

This story is not unique: a mid-sized Midwestern town is preparing to adopt a 50-year-old neighborhood. If you read between the lines, news of annexation often times read as case studies against low-density suburban development. This article from Mankato demonstrates (unintentionally) why these types of subdivisions can be so problematic. All quotes related to the annexation were taken from the […]

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The Fight for Pedestrian Safety

Getting even a modest pedestrian improvements can be an uphill battle. We have a design bias and process that is inherently unfriendly to pedestrians and bicycles. While we’ve made great strides in the last decade, it’s still a constant (and frustrating) battle. Take a recent incident in Minneapolis as an example; a simple concrete median that protects pedestrians and bicycles is about […]

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Local Control Over Speed Limits: Slow Cars and Save Lives

On my bike. About 5:30pm. St. Paul. I was traveling down Highland Parkway westbound towards the river at what I thought was a good downhill pace. The tree-lined median makes for a tight space, so I was hugging the right curb and weaving around the occasional parked car. From behind, I hear a rumbling muffler. It […]

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A Neighborhood Pizza Joint Needs a Neighborhood

The Twin Cities pizza chain Davanni’s is celebrating its 40th birthday with a facelift. It wants to be young again and recapture its original glory as the neighborhood pizza joint. In a recent article, the Star Tribune reported that many young millennials do not associate Davanni’s with their local neighborhood businesses, but rather think of it as a chain. And I know why. The […]

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The Infrastructure Debate in a Nutshell

Minnesota’s bridges are still out there aging as the title of this opinion piece by Lori Sturdevant announces. When it hit the pages of the Star Tribune earlier this week Sturdevant makes the argument that transportation funding at the State level is needed or taxpayers will “pay a high price if they continue their habit of […]

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For Sale: Pedestrian Safety Kit (ONLY $49.99)!

FOR SALE: Pedestrian Safety Kit – $79.99 … NOW Only $49.99 The City of Robbinsdale’s Mayor Regan Murphy has officially proclaimed May as “Step To It” Month. Robbinsdale joins communities in Hennepin County that aim to encourage residents to live healthier lifestyles and record their movements. Read the Full Proclamation here. To win this friendly competition, residents are going […]

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Should Minneapolis Build an Urban Soccer Stadium?

Professional soccer is coming to Minneapolis, probably. Sports Illustrated reported last week that Minnesota United is likely the next addition to Major League Soccer. This is exciting news for many. For others, it begs the question: Do we need another stadium? I’ll leave the politics to Alex Schieferdecker. Instead, I wanted to ask the question: […]

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Minneapolis: An Urban Transformation?

Minneapolis has undergone a tremendous amount of urban growth in the past seven years. And, for all the complaints constructive-criticism that we, at streets.mn, have provided, it should be noted that Minneapolis has truly transformed into a better, more dynamic urban place. Google Streetview has opened up its archives (dating back to 2007 in the Twin […]

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