Archive | Free Idea

Fixing Metro Transit’s Staff Shortage

Metro Transit is finally getting honest about their staffing problems, and cutting service to many routes. This is in spite of a massive hiring effort on their part and at least two increases in starting wages I’ve noticed in the past year and a half. When I was unemployed, I was looking very hard at that […]

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35W Closures: A Few Ideas

Normally, when there’s a big epic road closure (15 miles of 35W!) I read the comments. But I already did for one major closure this summer, and based on rules of comment sections, odds are 100% that the same comments are being made, and they’re going to be talking about bikers sucking within 30 comments. […]

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A Five Step Guide to Having “The Talk”

Last night I had “The Talk” with someone about biking and walking. Like other Capital T Talks, to be most effective this one needs to be handled with delicacy, tact, a positive attitude, and without shame. Here is my five step guide to having a successful Talk about Biking and Walking. The Talk usually starts […]

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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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Winter Bikeway Priorities in St. Paul

When you live in Minnesota you come to expect that there will be snow during winter. We’ve crafted numerous adaptations to provide comfortable winter living, including the declaration of a “snow emergency” when streets are difficult to pass with a personal car. Is it also an emergency when you cannot travel by bicycle (or walk)? […]

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Top Twin Cities Urbanist Halloween Costumes for 2017!

Halloween! It’s the most urbanist holiday of them all. Sidewalks full of small ghouls and rainbow unicorn ponies and teenagers with pillowcases. Minivans driving around and parking at the ends of cul de sacs hoping for full-size candy bars, but sometimes being greeted by the neighbor who gives all the kids cans of Mountain Dew, […]

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If the Center of the American Experiment Wants to Fix Congestion, They Should Fight for Telecommuting

According to a Star Tribune op-ed that’s already been heavily covered by streets.mn, we’re in for a summer long bombardment of messaging financed by local partisan think tank Center of the American Experiment. Despite reams of research that argues otherwise, motorists will see billboards, bumper stickers, and radio ads proclaiming that the only way to fix […]

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We Should Have a State Parliament

Under the U.S. constitution, states are the most powerful level of government. The constitution delegates all power not explicitly reserved in it to the states. In practice, the federal government has devised ways to coerce states, such as by withholding funding, and the Supreme Court has interpreted parts of the constitution like the commerce clause […]

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Let’s Make Arcade Street a Walkable Neighborhood Center

Most older cities, including Saint Paul, have a downtown center that is distinguished by greater density and mixture of uses. On a smaller scale, many neighborhoods have a center where there is a greater concentration of commercial activity. In Payne-Phalen that neighborhood center is Arlington Hills, and the commercial concentration is along Payne Avenue and […]

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View of downtown Rochester on the Zumbro River

9 (More) Ideas to Help Implement Rochester’s Vision of DMC

I would not have guessed that last year’s “9 Ideas” blog post would garner such attention.  The quickly assembled list was a no more than a combination of thoughts and ideas shared between friends and colleagues as well as examples derived from authors and practitioners from across the United States.  Yet the ideas spurred conversation.  […]

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