Archive | Advocacy

The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist

One of the things that drew me to the Twin Cities metro, and to St. Paul, is the cycling friendly community, and while St. Paul lags Minneapolis in many respects, it is still leagues ahead of most cities in this country and all the places I have lived. That being said, there is a virulent […]

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Anti-Harassment Ordinances Empower People On Bikes

Andy Singer blogged in 2014 about Vulnerable Road User Protection Laws, laws aimed at enhancing the penalties for careless driving. In 2015, Minnesota finally passed its version, campaigned for by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota and authored by Sen. Ron Latz (D) and Representative Tony Cornish (R). The new law increased the penalty for causing […]

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Bikeshare bikes docked in a station with an apartment building under construction in the background. The apartment building has a feature with lighting that changes colors.

Staving Off Bikesharing Shrinkage

A couple of days before the Nice Ride season started this year, I looked at their map to scout out stations by TCF Stadium. I was getting ready to go to a soccer game there and was looking forward to being able to use Nice Ride to get to or from games. But my neighborhood […]

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A Case for Stillwater Avenue

Recently, St Paul city council members received an update on a bike infrastructure improvement proposal for Stillwater Ave, a residential road on the city of St Paul’s east side. They voted 3 for and 3 against (1 absent), which halts support for moving forward on putting bike lanes on Stillwater Ave. The stretch is located […]

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I Got Kicked Out of My House — You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

I got kicked out of my house a month ago.  I was renting a little three bedroom house tucked into the armpit of a highway in southwest Saint Paul. I paid my rent on time and did all the repairs the house needed myself as things broke. I’d bill for the repair out of my […]

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Competitive Cycling versus Cycling as Cultural Evolution: Musing on the Tour de France

I have to be honest:  I have always struggled with the Tour de France.  I’ve always hated how during the tour it seems every wannabe racer with a carbon road bike gets out on the bike paths and treats all the other people like they are guests in their own homes. But in spite of […]

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Housing is (Not) a Human Right

One of the more popular ways for progressive candidates to excite a crowd or for pro-housing advocates to frame their arguments is to assert “Housing is a human right.” We should stop saying this, and call out candidates when they say it. It’s a lie. Housing isn’t a human right—at least not in practice. I […]

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Real Public Engagement

In a recent post, Jason Brisson highlights the conflict between “top-down” planning, where experts provide the direction for a project, and “bottom-up” planning, where community members drive (ha, ha, drive, get it?) the project. I do not think this is an either/or issue where technocrats tell a community what it needs versus a community, no […]

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Should City Planners Let People Kill Themselves?

This question is implied or encroached upon in nearly every modern planning conversation, but is not as often discussed directly. I think we should acknowledge it and talk about it openly. I will discuss this question in the context of the model city planners refer to as “bottom-up” city planning, give an example and then briefly […]

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Lightrailing While Brown is Our Issue

Being undocumented and in public is a precarious place to be. As transit advocates, we need to step up. I cannot speak on behalf of non-Western European immigrants. But I know this: what Ariel Vences-Lopez experienced on May 14 on the Metro Transit light rail is exactly what transit equity advocates have been fearing. This […]

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