Category: Policy

Ideas to help small businesses bloom in Saint Paul

[This post first appeared on the blog The Smallest Cog, a bike shop in downtown Saint Paul that recently closed after a robbery. You can read more about why they shut their doors here.] As we close out our second season in the business we have been reflecting on who we are, what our niche […]

The Sound of the Police

Excerpt from Sparked: George Floyd, Racism and the Progressive Illusion edited by Walter R. Jacobs, Wendy Thompson Taiwo and Amy August. Reproduced with permission from the Minnesota Historical Society Press.  On June 12, 2020, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to disband the police department and replace it with another model, an extraordinary step. Like most white, […]

When the Levee Breaks will St. Paul be Ready?

“If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to breakIf it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to breakWhen the levee breaks, I’ll have no place to stay.” -Excerpt from “When the Levee Breaks,” a traditional country blues song first recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie “Warmer air also can hold more moisture, leading to […]

Raise Your Voice on the Future of Bike Share in Minneapolis

The City of Minneapolis is set to renew their bike share contract sometime in the next year. In this contract, I think the City should require bike share providers to more equitably distribute bikes, and provide some public funding for the system. I also created a survey to gather what other folks thought.

Cars on an urban street

National Links: Pandemic Behavior Changes

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 […]

The M.U.T.C.D. Revisited

From the FHWA website:“The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways or MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways and private roads open to public travel”. It is “a compilation of national standards for all traffic control […]

It’s Past Time for Minneapolis to Act. Let’s Start with Design Option 1 on Hennepin.

This article is based on a co-presentation by Elissa Schufman and Abigail Johnson to the Transportation & Public Works Committee of Minneapolis City Council on March 31, 2021. We have to transform our streets to live out commitments to racial justice, to economic justice, to accessibility—and to meet our climate commitments, we have to do it […]

A map of hennepin county shaded in pastel greens and purples

Does This Map Identify Systemic Bias in Property Valuation?

This editorial on disparities in property valuation in the New York Times is drawing attention and commentary, for good reason. The editorial finds nationwide, systemic valuation errors disproportionately affecting lower-value residential properties which shifts property-tax burdens towards those property-owners and away from higher-value residential property owners. Racial disparities in wealth and homeownership, and the persistent […]