Archive | Freeways

Tonight 6-8pm – Virtual Happy Hour feat. Twin Cities Freeway History

Hey! We’re hosting another virtual happy hour tonight, from 6 to 8pm. Our special guest tonight will be Adam Froehlig, who is going to share some of his fascinating research on local freeway history around 7. If you like, you can ask all those burning questions you’ve been harboring about Interstate 335, the Midtown Greenway freeway, […]

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Saint Paul By Bike: I Didn’t Get Arrested!

April 5, 2020 12 miles Macalester-Groveland, Merriam Park, Summit-University, Summit Hill The 2020 Saint Paul By Bike riding season began today. The expedition was suitably unnatural first and foremost because the shroud of the coronavirus and COVID-19 hung everywhere. In the midst of Governor Walz’s stay at home order, streets were lightly traveled by vehicles, […]

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Minneapolis’ North Loop Viaducts Offer A Unique Opportunity

Some weeks ago, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat and a team of architects unveiled a bold and expensive new idea for Minneapolis’ Mississippi riverfront. The plan received a warm reception from Chamber of Commerce and Editorial Board types, but a more lukewarm response among the two groups of people whose opinions I most often seek: […]

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‘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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The Causes of Crashes: Case Study in Waseca

As part of an occasional series of posts on looking at the causes of crashes, here’s an investigation of one that occurred in the town of Waseca. (See also  “The Causes of Crashes  and   Tesla’s Self-Driving Car Euphoria Gets Jolted.  Although my intent in this series is not to come across as  “victim blaming”, in […]

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The Case for an Ayd Mill Bike and Pedestrian Trail

Several years back, I wrote about the history of what’s now called Ayd Mill Road and the efforts to turn it into a linear park. Ayd Mill is one of the most studied and debated pieces of roadway in Minnesota history. When the road first opened in 1965, there wasn’t anything to connect it to. […]

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A History of Traffic Management Technology

Earlier I wrote about the history of our Interstate Highway System (Part One and Part Two) and how they were partly a 1930s response to growing urban congestion, as big of a threat to the freedom of mobility as mud and ruts were only a few decades before. However the dream of ending congestion didn’t […]

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