Archive | Cars

‘One Killed Here’: Early 20th-Century Minneapolis Traffic Safety Campaigns

The advent of automobiles and accompanying pedestrian casualties shook up Minneapolis. Over the first half of the 20th century, the city saw a series of public awareness campaigns led by municipal government and local newspapers, with slogans that evolved from “Safety Over Sorrow” and “One Killed Here” to “Traffic Victims” and “Safest Big City … […]

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Chart of the Day: Key Transportation Statistics, US vs. Peer Countries

Here’s a handy chart that shows how the USA ranks a set of against other peer countries like Canada, Japan, Australia and a bunch in Europe. Red is the color the chart uses to denote its “worst” ranking. Voila: Some of the data is newer, some is older. Not much to add about this one. […]

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A Modern City for People Would Devote Less Space to Cars

I have been struck lately by how much space privately-owned automobiles take up. It’s the Starbucks on Marshall that got me thinking about it, and just the sheer percentage of that lot that is devoted to moving and storing cars. All space devoted to use for cars is people-unfriendly. Car space increases distances between destinations. […]

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For Urban Vehicles, Let’s Use the Right Tool For the Job

At streets.mn, contributors talk a lot about how to create cities where personal automobiles take on a less primary presence, and the needs of other street uses – pedestrians, cyclists, and transit-users – can rise to the forefront. However, today I’d like to take an opportunity to discuss the vehicles that we do have, and […]

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Autonomous Cars Can Be Safe or Mass-Marketable, Not Both

You might remember a rash of people on social media becoming suddenly interested in “the Trolley Problem” a few years ago. A classic ethical thought experiment about the dilemma posed by a runaway trolley, contemporary interest in it has been revived as corporations and engineers (PDF) begin grappling with programming and design decisions that will govern […]

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The RiverCenter Parking Garage

Road salt eats away at concrete in multi-story parking garages in a process known as “Spalling”. Salt accelerates the rate at which water gets into cracks, causing the concrete to pull away from its Rebar reinforcement. This is what happened to the River Center parking garage in downtown Saint Paul. A section of the garage […]

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How To Tell If Your Car Is A Lemon

When I was a sophomore in college and I needed a car my parents gave me $200 towards a vehicle and a “good luck” pat on the back. I was rough on their cars, so it’s no surprise to me that they weren’t willing to invest much else into my own vehicle. My budget was […]

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My Barriers to Biking Are The Same Reasons I Bike

[This post originally appeared on the Our Streets Minneapolis blog] There are many reasons I keep my car despite living in a city that in many ways makes it easier to go carless. Some of these reasons are rational needs, some are ingrained fears, some are wants that sometimes outweigh my knowledge of the damage of […]

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Let’s Really Talk About Privilege in Transportation

A recent Streets.mn piece attempts to make the case that Minneapolis policies, including but not limited to the draft Comprehensive Plan, are part of a broader war on cars, driven by the “privilege” of people who cannot or choose not to drive. I feel like I have a responsibility to respond, because I’ve worked for transportation […]

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Winter is When We Need Alternative Transit the Most

The first blizzard this winter hit squarely over the entire workday, timing that was bad news for the plow crews trying to clear the streets in time for the city’s commuters to get home. My partner and I took a walk in the early evening and without ever making it more than four blocks from […]

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