Category: Downtowns

Streets.mn Virtual Happy Hour: Rethinking Duluth’s Core

Have you ever driven, ridden or walked around in Duluth and noticed how Interstate 35 cuts through the city almost impenetrably?  Perhaps you have noticed the sheer scale of the freeway and overpasses and their seeming lack of relation to the context of the human-scaled surroundings? Maybe you wish there were more natural spaces, softer […]

National Links: How About Building a “PeanutAbout”?

Every day at The Overhead Wire, we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list. At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

How Much are North Loop’s 4th Street Onramps Costing Minneapolis?

Like most freeways, I long took the 4th Street viaducts for granted. They just loomed there at the edge of downtown taking up space, hoisted 30’ in the air like a helium whale. A grey meaningless concrete backdrop generating constant noise and microscopic particles of plastic, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other subtle poison. These […]

Minneapolis skyline in fog, black and white

Five Takeaways From Ten Years Of Minneapolis Planning Commission Approvals

Yesterday, I shared five takeaways from forty-one years of housing starts data in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region. This data, collected from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, can be useful to get a look at how much housing is being built across a range of geographies, down to the municipality level. But […]

The BRT/Local Service Dilemma

Thanks to new funding, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is picking up steam. Work on the B, D and E lines is underway with others soon to follow. Based on the available pre-Covid data for the A and C Lines, total ridership in those two corridors increased by about a third. On the surface, that’s wonderful. […]

What MnDOT Can Learn from Main Street

By one count, there are over 7,600 streets named “Main Street” in the United States. But there is only one that became the title of Nobel Prize winner Sinclair Lewis’ 1920 classic “Main Street”, and that’s the one in Sauk Centre, MN (alias “Gopher Prairie”), the writer’s hometown. Main Street—the novel—is about a progressive and […]

Stitching Together Duluth’s Downtown and Waterfront – Part One

The Duluth Waterfront Collective is a group of planners, designers, thinkers and more, united in our desire to create a more livable, equitable and sustainable Duluth. Our plan, entitled Highway 61 Revisited, takes an eraser to a one-mile stretch of Interstate 35 and will use a community engagement process to draw in the blank space […]

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 […]

Streets Empty Skyway

Are Downtowns Dead? And What Might that Mean for Our Neighborhoods?

Our current world situation led me to think about the song Downtown’s Dead, by the esteemed urbanist and bro-country performer Sam Hunt. Although I doubt that a global pandemic was on his mind when he penned this tune in 2018, it does raise a question that increasingly is being pondered. Is downtown dead? Most employers […]