Category: Governance

National Links: Sprawling Across America

Every day at The Overhead Wire, we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list. At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

Learning from the Land Down Under

This post is co-authored with Nathanael Lauster, Author of The Death and Life of the Single-Family House: Lessons from Vancouver on Building a Livable City. The authors met when Lauster lived in Minneapolis from 2005-6. Lauster is now an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. This post is cross-posted from https://homefreesociology.com/. Exciting […]

Lies in City Planning

In April, Minneapois Public Works released the results of a survey showing strong community support for reopening 38th & Chicago to vehicle traffic. Just one problem: it wasn’t true.

21 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.

No, We Should Not Abolish the HPC. But It Could Look Different.

An essay posted January 15, 2021 on streets.mn entitled “Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past” is a fairly typical critique of heritage preservation and the role of heritage preservation commissions (HPCs) in American cities. The article points to the frequently absurd minutia and short-sightedness of HPC meetings and staff reports, but does not fully […]

An old Richfield bus

Suburbs of the Month: Excelsior, Deephaven, Shorewood and Tonka Bay

It has been a long time since I’ve posted an installment of my “Suburb of the Month” series on transit in the Twin Cities suburbs, mostly due to my limited ability to take pictures at this time. However, I have a picture relevant to the Excelsior area, and even though it wasn’t my planned next […]

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]

transit riders

Five Facets of Recovery from COVID-19

“It [the pandemic] is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready […]

Jmd Smooth Traffic 0057

Car Subsidy as a Cost-Recovery Measure for St. Paul: Time to CARPe Diem

The Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) recently passed by the St. Paul City Council is an excellent, and necessary, first step to move St. Paul toward a sustainable future. You can read the plan here. Making the plan’s vision a reality will require developing many specifics that the plan does not flesh out. It’s […]

Chart of the Day: Federal HUD Funding for Saint Paul, 1978 – 2019

Here’s a chart that just happens to almost perfectly coincide with my lifespan. It shows the amount of Federal HUD dollars that have been spent in Saint Paul over the last 40 years. As you can see, there is something of a trend. The three lines represent three different pots of money: Community Development Block […]

Parking Validation: What If I Don’t Drive?

You’ve probably been offered parking validation, as I have, at restaurants, grocery stores — even the county Human Services office where I receive benefits (while working three jobs and freelancing on the side).  But what if, like me, you don’t have a car? Which of these places will validate your visiting them by riding transit, […]