Archive | Infrastructure

Downtown Minneapolis

Hidden Priorities, in Plain Sight

A friend compiled this series of Google Earth images. I scanned them, and intended to get on with my work, but I just couldn’t. I went through them again. And then again. I found myself rethinking the city I live in. Most people think Minneapolis looks like this: Or this: But, when you step back, […]

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RRFBs: A False Sense of Protection

When Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) started appearing in Bloomington and Edina I thought they would be a huge improvement for pedestrian safety, but having used them numerous times I’ve realized they’re a compromise on safety and neither motorists or pedestrians are the winners. RRFBs are a safety device used at crosswalks in which a […]

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Building a Better Bloomington for Bicycles

A recent post reviewing Bloomington’s Four Lane Death Roads covered the benefits to bicyclists and pedestrians. To follow up, I’m expanding the topic to Bloomington’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in general. First up is a photo tour of some of the worst of Bloomington’s existing infrastructure. A Photo Tour of The Worst of Bloomington’s Bike / […]

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Bloomington’s Four-Lane Death Roads Revisited

One of my first articles for streets.mn was on Bloomington’s Four Lane Death Roads, (four lane undivided roads) written in response to Bill Lindeke’s introductory article on Four-Lane Death Roads.  Four years later it’s time to revisit the subject with updates and additional background material. The Problem With Death Roads: Conflict Points Imagine a typical trip […]

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A Tale of Two Bridges

Two bridges spanning the Mississippi River — one connecting Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and a similar bridge crossing the river a mile and a half upstream — exhibit design characteristics reflecting significant changes in how people move across bridges throughout our cities.    The Saint Paul-Minneapolis structure joining East Lake Street and Marshall Avenue was […]

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The Incomplete Bike Loop in New Ulm

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting New Ulm, MN, for the first time. Friends had suggested I hike up to see Hermann the German, listen to the Glockenspiel at an appointed time, and of course drink plenty of Schell’s beer. However, one of the things I was looking forward to most was the […]

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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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Do Cities Like Minneapolis Have High Transit Ridership? (Part 1)

There are many cities in the world that are roughly the same size as Minneapolis. There are many cities in the world that have high transit ridership. But do these two sets of cities overlap? This article series is an exercise in two things: determining which cities are most like Minneapolis and determining what is […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Highways Part Five

This is Part Five 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. And […]

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“Good Enough” Isn’t Good Enough on Summit Avenue

I like biking on Summit Avenue, Saint Paul’s most well-used bike lane, but I always try and remind myself that not everybody enjoys it. Though I’ve been riding down Summit since high school, and after a few decades it seems fine to me, appearances can be deceiving. Yet the truth of the matter is that […]

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