Category: Advocacy

Morning Coffee with streets.mn this Sunday

Imagine yourself waking up on a Sunday morning, pouring yourself a cup of hot coffee and snuggling under a blanket on your favorite chair, your four-legged friend curled up sleeping by your feet. Outside your window is a collage of fall colors: maroon, gold and green hues, and you’re vaguely aware of the hum of […]

Will Minneapolis 2040 Live Up to its Promise?

Undoing failed zoning by basing new rules on the development that occurred under that failed zoning is a cycle doomed to repeat past failures. If you want to get the diversity of buildings we used to have, you have to work back from what you want.

Addition by Subtraction — Six Anti-Equity Items to Remove from the Saint Paul City Code

I still remember the first time I looked at a city zoning code, in a planning class at the Humphrey School. I both recommend it and, at the same time, would not wish the experience on anyone. City codes are interminable documents written in technical legalese. They go into painstaking detail about things like how […]

Examples of Modern Streetcars

When is a Modern Streetcar not a Modern Streetcar?

Summary: Modern Streetcar will not work in Riverview Corridor On December 14, 2017, the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC, governing body) of the Riverview Corridor project (RC) adopted its Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). See Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) Final Report LPA 02.2018 and Riverview Corridor Pre-Project Development Study, Final, Feb 2018. One of the provisions of […]

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]

2020 Cartoon Shout-outs!

Your friendly Saint Paul Crank here. It’s time for some late summer cartoon shout-outs. This first one goes out to the organizers of the Minnesota State Fair Crop Art competition. If not for the pandemic, you would have been able to see this piece hanging in the horticulture building with all the other excellent seed-art […]

Metro Blue Line Light Rail Transit Mall Of America

$129 Million Spent on Botched Blue Line Extension, Equivalent to Three Completed C Lines

Yesterday, we received the dismal news that the promised route for the Bottineau Blue Line light rail extension was only a dream, and that dream is now officially scuttled. What is more troubling is that $129 million in local, county, metro, and state funds were spent on engineering and planning the project when rail company […]

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Metro Transit Staff Letter to Metropolitan Council Leadership

Metro Transit staff have penned an open letter to Metropolitan Council leadership demanding action in response to the killing of George Floyd and the series of subsequent protests. The letter, which was signed by 198 current and former Metro Transit employees and sent on June 26, points out that both its riders and its operators […]

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Designing Cities for Women: Lessons from Barcelona’s ‘Feminist City’

In my recent streets.mn article, “Want Equitable Cities? We’ll Need More Women in Transportation Planning,” I argued that women’s under-representation in transportation planning and policy making leads to the creation of urban spaces that fail to meet the needs of girls and women. I ended the article with a bold question: What would cities look […]

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Want Equitable Cities? We’ll Need More Women in Transportation Planning

The majority of people who use public transit in the United States are women, yet transportation planners and engineers are predominantly men.  The underrepresentation of women in planning has created cities in which women’s needs are not met. This begs the question, what would public spaces and transportation look like if women had a greater role in […]