Author: Scott Shaffer

Scott Shaffer

About Scott Shaffer

Scott Shaffer works for a nonprofit community development corporation in Minneapolis. He has a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife live in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood with their daughter and two Siamese cats.

Route 2.

Metro Transit Upgrades Route 2

Metro Transit recently announced upgraded service for Route 2 in Minneapolis, effective this week. There are about 25% more daytime buses per hour versus last week. This means that the average wait time for the 2 fell from 7.5 minutes to about 5 minutes. Zig-zagging to success The 2 is a pretty weird route, for three […]

moving boxes

Charting Residential Stability and Race

I hate moving. It takes physical, mental, and emotional energy. It’s expensive to pay for security deposits, non-refundable pet deposits, first month’s rent and last month’s rent, and professional movers. From 2004 to 2012, I probably lived at 12 different addresses in Minnesota, California, and Scotland. I’m not sure if that qualified me as a […]

Arthur and Edith Lee house. Photo by Scott Shaffer.

The Lee House: Preserving a Relic of Racism

There is a modest, white house at the corner of 46th Street East and Columbus Avenue South in Minneapolis’s Field neighborhood. The architecture of the 1923 home eludes classification — its low-pitched rooflines hint at the craftsman style, but the white exterior, columns, and pediment seem neoclassical. The house lacks the charming stone work and […]

Planned Light Rail Extensions Dodge Car-Free Workers

We’re planning extensions to our light rail transit system in the Twin Cities! The Southwest Extension will bring the Green Line down to Eden Prairie, and the Bottineau Extension will send Blue Line service up to a Target corporate headquarters and a greenfield in Brooklyn Park. The price of the two projects was projected to be $2.5 billion last […]

A Year as a Bike Delivery Guy

For a year, I was a bike delivery driver for a popular sandwich restaurant. The terms “courier” and “messenger” didn’t really apply because they imply a greater variety of work and a higher status in bicycling subculture than I actually had. I just delivered sandwiches. It turns out that it’s a lot of fun to get paid to ride […]

Let’s Legalize Slow Streets

Every month or two, my wife and I visit her parents in Appleton, Wisconsin. It’s a nice college town with a strong bar scene set on the beautiful Fox River. Their downtown shares many characteristics of the busier stretches of Grand Avenue in St. Paul, except for the speed limit: in downtown Appleton, it’s 25 […]

The Soccer Stadium Should Pay Taxes

A belated congratulations to our local soccer team for gaining admission into Major League Soccer. The Minnesota United FC are one of twelve professional sports teams based in the Twin Cities: Minnesota Twins Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota Wild St. Paul Saints Minnesota Lynx Minnesota Vixen Minnesota Swarm* Minnesota Machine Minnesota United FC** Minnesota Lady […]

Low-car and no-car renters in Minneapolis

Let Us Build Less Parking, Please

Every large American city has parking requirements. New York has parking minimums. Portland has parking minimums. Even Houston, which stands alone in the United States by forgoing zoning laws altogether, has parking minimums. Houstonians can build a multifamily apartment building wherever they like, but they need 1.25 spaces for every studio unit, which is higher than Minneapolis’s […]

Improving Level of Service for Blind People

On my way to the Wedge Co-op one evening last week, I heard someone curse under her breath. I turned to see an older woman standing on the sidewalk, tapping a white cane around slushy snow at one of the entries to the Wedge’s parking lot. I figured she had impaired vision, and that she […]

Development and Taxes in Linden Hills

Many neighborhoods want restricted development, low taxes, and ample city services. The problem is that they can have only two. In August 2014, many residents of Linden Hills, a rich neighborhood in southwest Minneapolis, voiced their opposition to a proposed four-story mixed-use building in the neighborhood’s commercial node at 43rd St and Upton Ave. The […]