Author: Sean Hayford Oleary

Sean Hayford Oleary

About Sean Hayford Oleary

Sean Hayford Oleary is a web developer and planner. He serves on the Richfield City Council, and previously on the city's Planning and Transportation commissions. Articles are written from a personal perspective and not on behalf of Richfield or others. Sean has a masters in urban planning from the Humphrey School. Follow his love of streets, home improvement, and all things Richfield on Twitter @sdho.

APS beg buttons in snow

In Brainerd, Business 371 is for Business

I was up in Brainerd this weekend, visiting my sister. I’ve been up there several times since she bought a house just south of downtown a year and a half ago. Brainerd has a nice, walkable downtown. It has wide sidewalks, trees and benches, and active storefronts. Compared to the neighboring Baxter strip, it’s a breath […]

Stroaddale gateway signage

Southdale to Rebrand, Establish Stroaddale Preservation District

Edina, Minn — The City of Edina today announced ambitious plans to rebrand the aging Southdale District as “Stroaddale”, and to establish strict historic preservation guidelines to ensure that its low-density, stroad-oriented development is cherished for future generations. Stroaddale District is named for Stroaddale Center, and is roughly bounded by Crosstown to the north, Valley […]

Rethinking 66th Street

Note: I chair the Richfield Bike Advocates, and represent that group as a non-voting liaison to the Richfield Transportation Commission. However, I am not speaking on behalf of either group. Tonight, the Richfield City Council will make a major design decision that will affect more than 20,000 people every day. The City Council will consider whether or […]

France Avenue: Pedestrian-Friendly at 40 MPH

The City of Edina is finishing up an ambitious project to help remake France Avenue through the Southdale District into less of a highway, and more of an urban boulevard. To the unfamiliar, France Avenue through the Southdale District is a 40 MPH, 7+ lane divided megastroad. Prior to this project, there was a sidewalk […]

Competing approaches to names

Naming our Highways

I grew up in Northfield, and Cedar Avenue was a common route from Northfield into the Twin Cities. The name isn’t signed between the Northfield border and Eureka Township, but I knew it by no other name. In fact, I remember my parents having to explain to me, when I was first learning to drive: […]

Flowering trees in bloom by Menards

77th Street: The Stroad, the People, and the Lost Urban Village

Editor’s Note September 2020: The article below has been referenced in a political flyer in a Richfield city council race. The flyer has the headline of “Tear down the 77th Street Sound Wall?” The article does not propose tearing down the 77th Street sound wall. Questions can be directed to either candidate. — — If there […]

Looking at the 66th Street frontage of Cedar Point

On 66th Street, Frontage Matters

66th Street is Richfield’s main street, and with a planned reconstruction of 3.5 miles in 2016-17, it has the power to transform this first-ring city. It also has an enormous influence on adjacent South Minneapolis: 66th Street is the longest east-west street south of Lake Street, as well as home to the only major bus line […]

American Boulevard's innovative pedestrian treatment

Minneapolis Announces Adoption of Bloomington Pedestrian Plan

Minneapolis announced today that they will be adopting the City of Bloomington Alternative Transportation Plan, as well as many engineering practices of Bloomington, to enhance pedestrian safety and comfort along Minneapolis roadways. Bloomington has long been known as a regional leader in pedestrian-friendly roadway design and planning. “Ever since the opening of the Hiawatha Line, […]

Washburn Ave in the 1940s

Completing Richfield’s Streets

The City of Richfield has all the bones of a good place to walk. It has higher density than any other major suburb. It has a nearly intact urban grid. It has better transit service than any other suburb, and in some regards, better than most of South Minneapolis. But as almost anyone who has […]