Archive | Public Policy

A Few Streets St. Paul Would Be Better Off Without

New streets are being built every day, mostly in the exurbs, where forests and farmland continue to give way to new subdivisions. Here in Saint Paul we pretty much stopped building new roads half a century ago. The problem is, there seems to be a law of nature that once those roads are built, they […]

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Lime and Spin Roll Out in Minneapolis, Jump and Lyft Arriving Soon

Starting May 13, electric scooters have returned to the streets of Minneapolis. The city green-lit contracts with four network operators, Jump, Lime, Lyft, and Spin, and as of May 13, Lime and Spin are operating in the city. Jump is a brand of Uber Technologies Inc. and Spin is owned by Ford Motor Co. Lime, […]

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How TIF Can Solve a Market Failure in Minneapolis

I wrote an earlier post that explains what TIF is and how it works. Click through and read it here. In any community, we put things we want in plans. We want good jobs for the people who live here. We want homes people can afford to rent and buy. We want polluted land cleaned […]

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The Future of West River Parkway

With the Park Board’s Water Works project’s phase one underway, and improvements being made all along the river, I talked with two local Park Board commissioners, Jono Cowgill and Chris Meyer, about the future of West River Parkway, the parkway system, and Minneapolis parks. Both share a vision for a parkway system that returns to […]

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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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Why You Should Oppose a Gas Tax Increase

There are many reasons to oppose Tim Walz’s proposed gas tax increase. When a DFL governor last tried to increase the gas tax in 2015, Charles Marohn of Strong Towns wrote two excellent pieces detailing all the ways that The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s road building policies are hurting Minnesota’s cities and towns, fueling suburbanization […]

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Broadway Bridge

Threat Modeling and Climate Change

Have you ever looked both ways before crossing a street? The idea has been drilled into our heads since we were children. Drivers pose a significant threat to pedestrians in the United States, so it’s natural to be wary of them while walking. Let’s ask an even simpler question: why do we do this? That […]

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Scooter on a Bridge

Sharing Streets with Scooters

One hot day last August I set out to walk a marathon around the Twin Cities, starting with a jaunt over to St Paul for a streets.mn board meeting, a tour of the sewer covers of Rondo (they’re amazing!), and a nice brunch before meandering back to Minneapolis to wander around more. Midday, I headed […]

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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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“Curtilage” And The Constitutional Right You May Not Even Know You Had (And Possibly Just Lost)

The lengthy list of ways that our laws and policies favor single-family residences (and their occupants) over apartments (and tenants) is long and well-known to streets.mn readers. But that list has a significant new entry that has received far less attention. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, many Minnesota tenants will enjoy less protection from […]

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