Archive | Freeways

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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Metro Transit Gets Creative to Lure More Riders

Minnesota’s most predictable seasons — winter and roadwork — are no joke to the thousands of commuters who travel Interstate 35W through South Minneapolis every weekday. The $240 million construction project, which has reduced lanes and is closing stretches of the freeway altogether some weekends, will last until 2021. Inconvenience means opportunity for Metro Transit, […]

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The Saint Paul 2040 Comprehensive Plan

The world faces rapid man-made climate change that some scientists are saying is now beyond our ability to control. Yet we have a con-man president who believes, despite overwhelming evidence, that Climate change is a hoax. This is hardly surprising given that he’s been getting his information about climate change and many other issues from […]

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Map Monday: Potential Lost Land Value in Minneapolis due to Freeways

Via Strong Towns, here’s an interesting map that purports to show how much Minneapolis land value was “lost” due to the replacing of dense urban land with non-taxpaying freeway infrastructure. As you have probably noticed, now that 35W and other interstate trenches are under construction, multi-lane urban freeways and onramps take up a lot of […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Highways, Part 6

This is Part Six of an ongoing series of the history of Minnesota’s trunk highway system. Part One covered the early days of government and privately built roads. Part Two covered the events leading up to the establishment of the trunk highway system in 1920. Part Three covered the coming of the U.S. numbered highways and the 1920s improvement projects.  Part Four covered […]

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