Archive | Roads

Ayd Mill Road: Pothole’d Saint Paul’s Impending Money Pit

Do you want the bad news or the worse news? The bad news is obvious if you’ve been driving around Saint Paul in the last month or so. I’m sure you’re aware of the potholes. They are bad! We’re talking potholes as big as poodles, ruts the size of the Twinkie from Ghostbusters. We’re talking […]

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The Trunk Highway System layout in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1920s

A History of Minnesota’s Highways Part Two

Previously this series covered federal and private involvement in Minnesota’s highways from the pioneer days into the 1920s. Now it’s time to cover the involvement of the state. As early as 1890 there was state involvement in highways, with the state contributing funds towards the Old Cedar and Bloomington Ferry Bridges. A 1898 constitutional amendment allowed […]

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A History of Minnesota’s Highways Part One

This is the first part of a new series on the history of Minnesota’s highway system. This is not intended to be exhaustive or strictly chronological. Rather the idea is to present certain milestones and points where source material is available and that I think readers will find informative or interesting. There’s also a few […]

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Kitten Reading Internet Comments

We Read the Bike Lane Article Comments So You Don’t Have To

When controversy happens….when tempers flare….we read the comments, so you don’t have to. Well, actually, I was on vacation. I was hugging trees and canoeing and stuff, so I missed out on this weekend’s comment-bait Star Tribune article, “Spread of bike lanes in Minneapolis and St. Paul prompts both excitement and ire” until I came home […]

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The Mysterious Case of the Missing Traffic Chaos

Last week Jon Tevlin wrote in his Strib column about how the combination of detoured traffic from Franklin Avenue (now closed to replace the bridge over 35W) and new bikes lanes on 26th Street and 28th Street was going to result in “traffic chaos” that would be like “push[ing] hamburger through a straw.” Here’s a […]

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A New Vision Zero for St. Paul: Part 3 – Engineering

Part two of “A New Vision Zero for St. Paul” was about the first of the “Five E’s”: Evaluation, which very quickly led to rudimentary Engineering solutions simply to gather data and attain target goals for a transportation plan. Engineering is the second of the “Five E’s”, and often the most contentious, as it often controls […]

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A New Vision Zero for St. Paul: Part 2 – Evaluation

In part one of this Vision Zero advocacy piece, I outlined “five Es” of implementing the plan: Evaluation, Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Encouragement. In this part, I will briefly touch on Evaluation, as well as how quickly it intersects with implementation and some of the other Es. Evaluation Saint Paul has taken important first steps in the […]

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A New Vision Zero for St. Paul: Part 1 – Introduction

The time has come for St. Paul to become, officially, a Vision Zero city. According to the Vision Zero city map, St. Paul is among the cities “considering”, though it is under consideration in the city’s draft 2040 Transportation Plan, which is open to comments at this time. Incidentally, the fact that any city in Florida […]

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Should City Planners Let People Kill Themselves?

This question is implied or encroached upon in nearly every modern planning conversation, but is not as often discussed directly. I think we should acknowledge it and talk about it openly. I will discuss this question in the context of the model city planners refer to as “bottom-up” city planning, give an example and then briefly […]

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Are Minnesota Drivers Really as Good as They Say?

Last summer, I witnessed a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle. I knew it was going to happen, but there was nothing I could do as it all happened in an instant. The driver immediately jumped out of his car and started yelling that he wasn’t on his cell phone. He repeated this over and […]

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