Author Archive | Pat Thompson

The City That Eats Together: A Climate Committee Tree Planting Event

Editor’s note: Julia wrote this piece prior to the killing of George Floyd and subsequent unrest. The last few days have again revealed the structural inequality that persists in our cities. These gaps come in many forms, including in access to food. As grocery stories have been destroyed or shuttered throughout many parts of the […]

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Earth Day Birth Day

On the first Earth Day, I was 10 years old. I don’t think I knew it had been declared Earth Day because I wasn’t even reading the newspaper yet. I was nearing the end of fifth grade, a pivotal year in my life when I began to form an anti-authoritarian attitude because I had what […]

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‘Rethinking’ I-94: When an Image Deceives

You may have heard about the Rethinking I-94 process that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has begun. When I hear those words, as a person concerned (alarmed!) about our climate crisis, I assume it means, you know, rethinking Interstate 94. Like: Do we need a highway through our cities? Could it be filled in, […]

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What Good Are Climate Goals If They Aren’t Considered When Real Decisions Are Made?

What good are climate goals if they’re not considered when real decisions are made in our cities? It’s a recurring question heard in posts on streets.mn that soon will be addressed at the Saint Paul City Council’s March 4 meeting when it considers the appeal of a proposed development at 2495 Kasota Ave. The Council […]

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Twenty-Seven Years of Pickup Truck Design

Former Streetsblog USA writer Angie Schmitt has recently been making the point on Twitter that, despite the extremity of our climate crisis, the transition to sustainable transportation can’t be instantaneous because of our sprawling built environment. We therefore will need both EVs (maybe including ebikes, though she doesn’t address this) and smaller/safer vehicles for people […]

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Pushback, Once Again

  This is the context, and we all know it: • Climate change is real and already causing devastating effects • Climate change is primarily caused by CO2 • Transportation accounts for the largest part of Minnesota’s CO2 increase • We need to act now Given that, let’s say you have a street (well, more […]

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Don’t Run Us Over

I wish I could sing or play an instrument, because I’d like to make a recording of the alternate lyrics I made up for the classic Dionne Warwick song “Don’t Make Me Over,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I may have been inspired by the version of “Old Town Road” about Saint Paul’s […]

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Sustainable Child Play

I spent half of a recent Saturday outside helping some friends do yard work in what most would call a working class to low-income neighborhood of Saint Paul. It’s a pretty diverse place, too, with U.S.-born black, indigenous, and white people living side-by-side with immigrant families from many countries. My friends’ duplex apartment is on […]

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Door-Knocking and Street-Musing

When you door-knock for your favorite City Council member, you recognize what it’s like to be a pedestrian on our residential streets. I’ve done it a couple of times on a weekend day in the past month or so. As a gardener, I notice the plants in people’s yards and find they tell me quite […]

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Tile Entries

One of the things you get to see when you walk instead of drive is tile entryways to commercial (and sometimes residential) buildings. I’ve been collecting photos of tile for a while, mostly from somewhere other than the Twin Cities. Some of the designs are decorative only, as in the first row of images. Semi-floral, […]

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