Archive | Free Idea

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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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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A Christmas Love Letter

When I was pregnant with my daughter my husband worked second shift, and five nights a week I was left to wrangle our then two-year old son by myself. After working all day I lacked the energy to cook, clean, and play with him. My solution was to find different people to feed and entertain […]

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Pedestrianizing Big Box Stores – Midway Super Target

Like many parts of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Midway in Saint Paul is a slightly strange hybrid between urban and suburban built forms.  Houses and apartments on narrow lots and streetcar-era retail buildings with zero setbacks coexist (oftentimes uneasily) with suburban-style big-box stores that have giant parking lots.  The Green Line provides frequent transit service to places that have […]

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Hennepin Avenue Reconstruct II: Even Better

I’ve written previously about the infinite improvement that the proposed concept for the Hennepin Avenue Reconstruct represents, here. Of course, my hopes for it are as eternal as the empty lot at Block E once felt. I’m leaving out the possibility of lane reductions; the mess of laws and customs governing those is beyond my […]

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9 Ideas to Help Implement Rochester’s Destination Medical Center Visions

Rochester is lousy with plans.  We have vision documents and planning studies all around us.  Yet we are mired in the weeds trying to figure out how we can possibly implement much of what is depicted in these prognosticating documents.   9 | ACCEPT THAT ROCHESTER IS NOT SOMEPLACE ELSE Rochester suffers, in some respects, […]

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Can We Hit the Pause Button on the Macy’s Site?

It is easy to look at the former Macy’s store in St. Paul and see an irredeemable wreck. It is large and hostile to pedestrians. Its few windows and huge floorplates were ideal for the retail environment of the 1960’s, but are stubbornly resistant to redevelopment. It is too expensive to tear down, and besides, developers aren’t […]

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