Category: Policy

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 […]

Hennepin Avenue: A Parable of Road Design in America

It’s possible you’ve heard this joke before: A motorist, a pedestrian, and a bicyclist are sitting at a table that has a dozen cookies on it. The motorist grabs 11 of the cookies and when the other two are reaching for what they each assumed was their cookie, the motorist exclaims: “Watch out! The bicyclist […]

Climate Emergency 500x295

Celebrating the 1-year Anniversary of the streets.mn Climate Committee

On December 29, 2019, seven people met at Dual Citizen Brewery in St. Paul, and there we created the streets.mn Climate Emergency Committee. We had a few in-person writing meet-ups before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, and even though none of us could anticipate the events that followed throughout the year of 2020, we maintained […]

21 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.

No, We Should Not Abolish the HPC. But It Could Look Different.

An essay posted January 15, 2021 on streets.mn entitled “Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past” is a fairly typical critique of heritage preservation and the role of heritage preservation commissions (HPCs) in American cities. The article points to the frequently absurd minutia and short-sightedness of HPC meetings and staff reports, but does not fully […]

Will Minneapolis’s Zoning Code Update Allow More Multi-Family Housing?

A version of this article was posted to the Neighbors for More Neighbors blog. When many people imagine housing for a family, the stereotypical image is a single-family home and expansive turf yard. And in many cities and towns around the country, minimum lot sizes and zoning requirements ensure that the only options available to […]

Map of the Day: Substandard Lot Sizes in Minneapolis

There are more than 14,000 residential lots in Minneapolis that are smaller than what is currently required to build on per the current zoning code. Now, this is a messy statement. There are multiple minimum lot sizes (5,000 square feet, 6,000 square feet, and a large lot zone where the number is based on the […]