Archive | Freeways

Mndot 94 Process H

‘Rethinking’ I-94: When an Image Deceives

You may have heard about the Rethinking I-94 process that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has begun. When I hear those words, as a person concerned (alarmed!) about our climate crisis, I assume it means, you know, rethinking Interstate 94. Like: Do we need a highway through our cities? Could it be filled in, […]

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The Case for the Current Ayd Mill Road Proposal

I heard you groan: “Why are we still talking about Ayd Mill Road, especially amidst a global pandemic?!?” Well, my friend, we’re talking about it because our Public Works Department and highway departments around America are continuing to pave things. Like a Cyborg Terminator Coronavirus, highway departments will keep paving until the day civilization ends […]

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Freeways and Freedmen: A Familiar Story from Canada’s Rondo

Rondo was part of a roadmap which detailed the ways in which black folks across the United States could be removed from their homes and property in order to build the Eisenhower freeways. The Guardian has written about this process, alongside the Atlantic, ThinkProgress, the New York Times, and plenty of other outlets. But these […]

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“Rethinking I-94,” Galaxy Brain-Style

For a few years now, MnDOT, the state’s transportation agency, has been promoting its “Rethinking I-94” plan, making a big deal out of hand-wringing and soul searching about the future of the state’s busiest and most urban freeway. I’ve gone to a few meetings about it, and — in a rare television appearance — I […]

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Minnesota River Bridge: an E for Effort

The new I-35W Minnesota River Bridge will include a “pedestrian trail” to accommodate walkers and bikers across the Minnesota River. This is great news for folks commuting across the Minnesota River, as the nearest year-round crossing of the river is seven miles downstream at I-494.  There’s a catch, though. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) […]

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The Tower Lights of the Freeways

The Moonlight Towers While traveling along the freeways you may have noticed that some lights are mounted on huge towers rather than short poles. The idea of lighting a large area with high-mounted lights dates from the dawn of the electrical era, with carbon arc lights. Here’s one from San Jose. And here is one […]

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Meet a Roundabout: I-494 and U.S. 169

Last Monday, I drove my father to a doctor’s appointment in Edina. We don’t usually travel these ways, but his regular general practitioner was on vacation. At the intersection of Interstate 494 and U.S. 169 are six linked roundabouts surrounding the freeway interchange. The two-lane roundabouts — with dedicated lanes for going either right or […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Interstates, Part Two

This is the second part of the history of Interstate Highways in Minnesota. Part One covered the early plans and conceptions of the interstate system, from the 1930s to the Interstate Highway Act of 1956. This concludes with the realization of the system. First, here’s some maps showing the completion of the interstates by decade. […]

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Why You Should Oppose a Gas Tax Increase

There are many reasons to oppose Tim Walz’s proposed gas tax increase. When a DFL governor last tried to increase the gas tax in 2015, Charles Marohn of Strong Towns wrote two excellent pieces detailing all the ways that The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s road building policies are hurting Minnesota’s cities and towns, fueling suburbanization […]

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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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