Archive | Planning

Reimagining Nicollet Mall for Micro-Mobility

During the NCAA Final Four, Nicollet Mall achieved what the planners had only dreamed of. It was a packed, vibrant hive of pedestrian activation with visitors shooting hoops, dining outside and even riding a Ferris wheel. The festivities ceded the 24-foot-wide bus lanes to pedestrians, and the activities and outdoor dining attracted crowds. Months later, […]

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12 Ideas to Improve Downtown Mobility

I was walking through the skyway near Nicollet Mall on Monday and watching the backed up traffic below. Single occupancy fossil fuel vehicles, car commuters, were “blocking the box” and preventing buses full of other commuters from getting home on time. The flow of pedestrians at every signal cycle was more than the number of […]

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Drive-Through Ban Gets Positive Reception at Minneapolis Planning Commission

On Thursday, the Minneapolis Planning Commission was supportive of a proposed ordinance from Council President Lisa Bender that would prohibit new drive-throughs for banks, drugstores, and fast food restaurants (or any other “facility which accommodates automobiles and from which the occupants of the automobiles may make purchases or transact business”). It’s important to emphasize: if […]

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Edina Debates a Comprehensive Plan

Edina’s City Council approved a draft comprehensive plan last Tuesday. While it’s not nearly as ambitious as the 2040 plan approved last year in Minneapolis, the Edina plan has still attracted some organized opposition. Bruce Christensen, creator of two anti-population growth websites in Edina (stopthelid.com and We Can Do Better Edina), led a contingent of of residents whose testimony […]

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A Few More Opportunities for Public Input on the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan

After my last class today, I took a ride on the route 4 bus–including the slow crawl along Nicollet–from Minneapolis College to the Central Library,  where I was able to attend the downtown Community Workshop for Minneapolis’ Transportation Action Plan. This workshop was one of a series of community engagement opportunities to interact with the […]

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The Planned Failure of the Ford Site

On January 25, 2019, Ryan Companies presented its plan for the Ford Site redevelopment to the St. Paul Planning Commission. One third of the way through the presentation, Ryan officials finished talking about themselves and turned to the city’s (supposed) vision for the Ford Site, That vision includes environmental sustainability, vibrant urban infill and a transit-oriented […]

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New Proposed Northeast Development Checks All The Boxes

On Thursday, February 28, LanderGroup will present its proposal for a new development on vacant, industrially-zoned land across two properties, at 2301 California Street NE and 78 23rd Avenue NE. That night there will be both meetings at the Planning Commission Committee of the Whole and the Bottineau Neighborhood Association. The proposal includes 24 townhomes and 110 […]

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Why The Fed’s Proposed Parking Garage Is Terrible For The Climate

As you might have heard, the Minneapolis branch of the Federal Reserve has proposed a new 800 space parking ramp in the North Loop. The ramp would replace an existing 300 space surface lot. Plans for the ramp, which you can view here, call for a structure of five stories on the northwestern side of the site, abutting […]

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Counting The Homeless On The Train One July Evening

Dignity. Housing. Help. Five dollars. That’s what some people clamored for when they saw us on the Blue Line one July morning. With our safety vests on and our clipboards wielded, they recognized us as staff (volunteer or paid, it didn’t seem to matter to them) conducting the Point-In-Time Count. It’s a quarterly – now […]

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Minimum Parking in St. Paul

Why do we have parking minimums in the City of St. Paul? The current city ordinance is copied at the bottom of this post for reference, but it provides no justification. Parking Minimums = Control I once asked an employee from DSI (Department of Safety and Inspections) why a bar should have *more* parking space […]

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