Archive | Planning

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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Minneapolis’ Secret 2040 Sauce was Engagement

Around the country, people advocating to build abundant homes are asking how Minneapolis did it. Why is Minneapolis the city passing a comprehensive plan that ends exclusionary zoning and allows triplexes everywhere? There are a multitude of reasons why. We’ve long had an active urbanist community, fostered by discussion on streets.mn, a nationally recognized bike […]

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Southwest Minneapolis: Critical to Minneapolis 2040

Where do people want to live? The short answer: Minneapolis. Millennials don’t want to spend their lives inside cars, and older residents don’t want to be dependent on driving for simple tasks like getting groceries or picking up a few things at Target. People increasingly want to live near the amenities of a city as […]

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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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Minneapolis Inclusionary Zoning Debate Kicks off at City Hall

The Minneapolis City Planning Commission held a preliminary discussion about inclusionary zoning on Thursday night. Inclusionary zoning is a requirement that new apartment construction include a certain percentage of affordable units. Until a permanent policy can be adopted, City Council President Lisa Bender wants to implement an interim policy alongside the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. […]

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Yes to Homes, But I’m No “YIMBY”

A couple weeks ago, I packed my bags and headed off to Boston for an annual gathering called YIMBYtown. I’m no YIMBY. I want everyone to have a safe, affordable place to live, and for that to happen we need to build enough homes to go around. (Yes, that includes apartments, like my own apartment-that-is-a-home.) […]

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Building a Better Frost Avenue

While I was reading through September’s issue of “Maplewood Living”, a monthly municipal newsletter, something stuck out in the proposed 2019-2023 Capital Improvement Plan being considered by Maplewood’s City Council. Next year, in 2019, Maplewood will be implementing the “Gladstone Area Phase 3 Improvements”, including reconstructing Frost Ave from English St to White Bear Ave. […]

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Good vs Bad Density

Peter Stalland / Tyr Development has proposed building a 140 unit apartment complex in the midst of low density residential in Vadnais Heights. I believe it will have 140 parking spaces below ground and 140 parking spaces above ground so two per unit. This is the second plan submitted by the developer. This 3-story plan […]

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