Author Archive | Scott Shaffer

2013 Best Place for a First Date: St. Anthony Main

First dates are exciting. At their worst they’re fodder for gossip with friends, and at best they’re intoxicating drafts of wonder and potential. Especially if the date is on a café patio across a quiet cobblestone street from the Mississippi River, and involves watching the sun set over the downtown skyline between sips of beer. […]

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Getting the most bike for your buck

This is in response to Kevin Krizek’s recent post, “Diminishing returns of off-street bicycle facilities,” in which he warns Minneapolis against building bike infrastructure that is expensive and ineffective. I share his sentiment, but we disagree on what bike advocates want, and on which measures are the most cost-effective. In this post, I want to make […]

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Calhoun Square at Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street

Minneapolis needs a good hostel

Minneapolis gets good press. Everybody loves the Midtown Greenway, Forbes acknowledges our fitness, and Slate’s Matt Yglesias is basically our municipal cheerleader. The problem is that we’re bad at converting this good publicity into population growth. What’s the missing step that might make a mobile coast-dweller reading an article about Minneapolis into a new Minneapolitan? A […]

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Transportation and distorted affordability

Mortgage lenders turn a blind eye to the transportation costs of homebuyers, and that’s bad for borrowers, banks, and urbanism. When a bank is deciding whether or not to lend you money to buy a home, they don’t really care whether you can afford to repay the loan, because they’re not holding on to your […]

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In Defense of the Totino’s Apartments

I recently came across this blog post by Andrew Yarish lamenting that the old Totino’s building is being “razed to make way for trendy apartments.” He doesn’t explicitly criticize the development, but his tone betrays his disapproval. I understand the sentiment — this building is cute. But cute buildings don’t make cities great; instead it’s […]

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