Archive | Free Idea

A Few Streets St. Paul Would Be Better Off Without

New streets are being built every day, mostly in the exurbs, where forests and farmland continue to give way to new subdivisions. Here in Saint Paul we pretty much stopped building new roads half a century ago. The problem is, there seems to be a law of nature that once those roads are built, they […]

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We Can Make A North Cedar Lake Trail Crossing Safer With Just Paint

A friend recently attempted a bit of tactical urbanism to make the North Cedar Lake Trail crossing at W 36th St in Saint Louis Park safer. The popular Cedar Lake Trail is closed and detoured to this section of the North Cedar Lake Trail, trail use has increased quite obviously here. He tweeted about it […]

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A Tree Proposal Kenilworth Should Love

Hey, do you remember a couple of years ago when that budget-Pixar animation company made a feature-length adaptation of The Lorax? Only it watered down the message of one of Dr. Seuss’ most depressing and dire tales about the inevitable result of unadulterated greed into “You can still consume things, but make sure they’re #green!” […]

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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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