Category: Downtowns

Metropolitan Opera House and Palace Court, 1914

No Use for a Name: The Untold Story of Alley Identity and Utility in Minneapolis’ Palace Court

(The photograph above, showing the Metropolitan Opera House and Palace Court, was taken by C.J. Hubbard in 1914, Minnesota Historical Society) Historical and contemporary Minneapolis is not particularly known for its public alleys. They have served a more discreet role in the lives of Minneapolitans, unsung for getting private vehicles off city streets. Of course, […]

National Links: Selling Omaha

How Boomers get the housing crisis wrong, why a poor sense of direction could be an early sign of dementia and more “old news.”

National Links: Road Design’s Role in Crashes

Human error gets blamed for deadly crashes, but road and vehicle design more often is the culprit. The first half of 2021 recorded 20,000 deaths on U.S. roads.

Imagine a city without the sounds of cars

I was doomscrolling Twitter the other day, saw this Tweet from a friend, and laughed a bit too loudly: It reminded me that my favorite thing about my visit to Tokyo last year was the least expected: it’s an eerily quiet city! Wherever I go, I try to put into practice one of my favorite […]

Metro Transit Service: Chicken or Egg?

These are unprecedented times for all of us, and how and when we return to some semblance of normal is still uncertain. But now is the time for our transit providers to seek out new ridership and do everything in their power to support the return of transit riders who have stayed home for some […]

National Links: A Changing Rush Hour

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. […]

The busy and cacophonous I-94/I-35E commons in Downtown Saint Paul.

Talking with the Walkin’ Man

May 12, 2021 Macalester-Groveland, Summit-University (Cathedral Hill), Downtown, West End 21 Miles My first blogging bike ride of 2021 filled me with excitement and a touch of apprehension. Both emotions resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited me to a single blogging ride in 2020. Obviously, interviewing people last year was out of the question, […]

Bus Rapid Transit: Not As Simple and Cheap As It Seems

Often, if not every time, there’s an article written by Janet Moore of the Star Tribune that relates to bus rapid transit (BRT). It’s defined as a “service that mimics light rail in terms of service and reliability but for a fraction of the cost” (quoting this article). This is a generalized statement that doesn’t […]

Rail vs Bus on the Red Rock Corridor

Back in the late 1990s, MnDOT analyzed several existing freight rail corridors in the Twin Cities region for the possibility of implementing commuter rail service. Three routes were chosen for their cost effectiveness and best potential ridership: the Northstar Line to St. Cloud, the Red Rock Corridor to Hastings, and the Dan Patch Corridor to […]

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 […]