Archive | Environment

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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Hall’s Island. Not an Island. Ok, an Island Again

I first visited Hall’s Island first before it was and island, for the 2nd time. To me it was a big parcel of land that Wilco played at a couple years ago. Why was it an island over 50 years ago, why not in 2016, and why again today? A brief history. The first known survey of […]

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Streets Without Trees are Dangerous

With more cities developing Vision Zero initiatives to eliminate road traffic fatalities, more people are seeing the way streets that are designed as a life-and-death issue. That entails seeing things that used to look fairly benign – a 13′ lane width, for example – as hazardous. We should start seeing the absence of mature street […]

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Chart of the Day: Share of New Homes with Central Air Conditioning, 1970 – Present

An evergreen chart here from the New York Times about a seasonal (in Minnesota anyway) amenity that has radically transformed our cities and homes for the better and for the worse. Here is the chart showing the trend in the Midwest and other regions of the US: I grew up in a house with central […]

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Does Bike Commuting Impact Your Carbon Footprint? And How Much?

[This post originally appeared on the Our Streets Minneapolis blog.] Many bike commuters cite reducing carbon emissions as their reason for biking. Does switching from a car or bus to a bike reduce one’s carbon footprint and by how much? Japan, China, the Netherlands, and Denmark collect the most data on carbon emissions and bikeable […]

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Minneapolis 2040: Tree Edition

Minneapolis residents may be wondering who is digging holes in their neighborhoods and dropping little trees in them. It’s the Forestry Division of the Minneapolis Park Board. Trees are great for the environment. They’re good for public health. They can calm car traffic. Maybe they reduce crime? They definitely make streets vastly more pleasant places […]

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The Frosty Fish: A vision for the future of urban farming

I’m sitting in a cafe, sipping a cup of tea and enjoying the tastiest crème brulee I’ve ever had. Or maybe I just think it’s the tastiest. It could be the atmosphere, the tropical flowers in bloom, the sound of trickling water from the fountain, or that intoxicating euphoria that comes with being surrounded by […]

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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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A Response To The “Privilege” of The Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan

This post is in conversation with Carol Becker’s post. I decided to write a post instead of a comment.   My name is Nicole Salica and I ride a bike. I know that I have encountered negative consequences for saying this. I don’t ride a bike because I especially like biking. I bike because I […]

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