Archive | Infrastructure

What Happens When You Build Things Near Transit? An Unsurprising Case Study

A few weeks ago, I spoke to an older couple who, over the course of our conversation, mentioned that they had both attended the University of Minnesota. I am not a Gopher alum, but I did live near to the campus for a couple of years, on a little stub of 4th Street SE near […]

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Make Minneapolis and St. Paul Parkway Closures Permanent

Since Minneapolis and St. Paul have closed some of its parkways to motor vehicles to assist with social distancing due to COVID-19, I have been enjoying the extra room it has been supplying to pedestrians and bicyclists.  Even before the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the city of St. Paul implemented these measures, […]

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The Problem with the Oakland Street Closures

A while back. I wrote about the importance of streets and sidewalks during the pandemic, and how I thought the Oakland Slow Streets project was a great model for cities to follow. As you’ve probably heard, in Oakland, California the city has installed small barriers on over 74 miles of mostly residential streets, creating a […]

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Every Tunnel Tells a Story: the Underground Passageways of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Here’s a question: Why does Saint Paul have so many more tunnels than Minneapolis? Because we keep Saint Paul boring! Indeed, Saint Paul’s geography has featured the subterranean since the very beginning when Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant staked his claim at Fountain Cave. And although Saint Paul was well positioned at the northernmost navigable point […]

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Want Equitable Cities? We’ll Need More Women in Transportation Planning

The majority of people who use public transit in the United States are women, yet transportation planners and engineers are predominantly men.  The underrepresentation of women in planning has created cities in which women’s needs are not met. This begs the question, what would public spaces and transportation look like if women had a greater role in […]

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The Shops of West End’s Parking Ramp Problem

A Parking Problem St. Louis Park’s lifestyle center, The Shops of West End, has problems. Its vacancies are more than double the metro average and a 20,000 square foot block has never been filled. In March, 2019 the Twin Cities Business Magazine did an article on why. The article is well worth a read; it […]

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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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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 […]

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Market Street In San Francisco Goes Car Free

In January, San Francisco closed a near 2-mile stretch of Market Street to cars while I was in town recently. I wasn’t expecting it. I already finalized my plans to visit family for the Lunar New Year when I learned that San Francisco would be closing lower Market Street to cars while I was visiting. […]

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$100 Million for What?!

It has been publicized that Hennepin County is working on plans to build a “wishbone overlook” on the upper portion of Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. The Star Tribune article states cost-estimates of $50-100 Million USD to build this project. I’m going to err on the side of the upper estimate, because at […]

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