Archive | Cars

RRFBs: A False Sense of Protection

When Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) started appearing in Bloomington and Edina I thought they would be a huge improvement for pedestrian safety, but having used them numerous times I’ve realized they’re a compromise on safety and neither motorists or pedestrians are the winners. RRFBs are a safety device used at crosswalks in which a […]

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The Winter of Minnesota’s Transportation Discontent

  I was reviewing the comments to the Draft Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan, and I came across an unexpected theme: That’s a weird and surprising notion. I didn’t expect to come across someone who’d suggest a popular form of winter transportation and recreation was not feasible in the winter. I continued reading… Whaaat? Well, maybe this […]

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How to Drive Around Buses

I’ve had a little cold and it’s been rainy, so after spending the summer months blissfully bike commuting, I’ve spent this week as I do the coldest parts of winter, riding the bus. Doing so, as always, is a reminder: none of you know how to drive around buses. Yes. You. You’re doing it wrong. […]

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Car-Free Day Car-toons

Saturday, September 22 is World Car-Free Day! OurStreets Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Downtown Council and a few local groups are celebrating it on Friday, September 21st. In honor of this blessed event, I’m posting a few car-toons. The U.S.A. (including Minnesota) remain “The Land of the Cars!” Here’s a new American flag proposal so outsiders will […]

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Driverless Cars and the Cult of Technology

We constantly hear that driverless cars are just around the corner. We’re told they will revolutionize transportation and enable us to continue using our car-based transport and land-use system. If they’re made by Tesla, they’ll be powered by magic, solar-powered, super efficient batteries and we’ll all be able to keep living our hyper-mobile, hyper-consumptive lifestyles […]

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“Are you sure that road is for 2-way traffic?”

“Are you sure that road is for 2-way traffic?” asked KYMN News about the new and improved Division Street in Northfield. Social media commenters asked whether it was wide enough for school buses, how two trucks could pass, and where are the bike lanes among other questions. Yes indeed, Division Street remains 2-way (as City staff […]

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In 1923, You Could Buy Pedestrian Insurance for 75 Cents

If you subscribed to the Minneapolis Daily Star in 1923, you could get a year’s worth of pedestrian insurance for an extra 75 cents.   The add-on deal was just what it sounds like: insurance coverage for injuries (including fatal injuries) you might incur while walking across the street. The offer, through the North American Accident […]

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‘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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