Archive | Streets

Five Rules for Vital Streets

Streets are vital when there is the feeling that there is something going on, of being where the action is. Successful places have vitality. By definition, dead places don’t. We don’t want too much vitality everywhere (I don’t want it on my street after 9 pm) and probably can’t support it. But surely we could […]

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A Glimpse of Biking Network Effects

Recently I’ve become the steward of an amazing and rich set of non-motorized transportation data through work with Bike Walk Twin Cities (BWTC), a local non-profit administering the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP), since 2007 (part of the SAFETEA_LU legislation). This $28M pilot program, awarded to 4 communities around the country and luckily our […]

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Lowertown’s Parking Challenge

This map sparked a few disparaging tweets, including a small #twitterwar with a City Council member. As it turns out, people get riled up about parking. It is as if they feel they are entitled to parking and the benefits thereafter. These blue spaces represent off-street surface parking lots and parking garages; but do not […]

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Fastest Metropolitan Area in the United States (outside of California)

If I told you that the Minneapolis-St. Paul- Bloomington Metropolitan area had the highest average speeds (outside of California) of the fifty largest metropolitan areas in the United States, would you be surprised? I was. According to data released with the 2012 Texas A&M’s Transportation Institutes’s Urban Mobility Report, Powered by Inrix, Table A-8 reveals […]

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I Love Accessibility

Last year on streets.mn, David Levinson wrote about a study which projected what accessibility in the Twin Cities might look like in 20 years under a variety of planning scenarios. I think accessibility is pretty great, and so I was very happy to get to work with David on another accessibility-focused project. “Access to Destinations: Annual […]

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Kids, Carpools & Walking: How a Safety Mentality Creates Unsafe Spaces

In the long-ago days of my misspent youth, I lived in an absolutely flat suburban community named for one of the seven hills of Rome. As children, we all walked to school, crossing two moderately busy streets along the way. On days when it unexpectedly began hailing sideways during the school day, a parent or […]

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Pedestrians prohibited north of the light rail station

Most metro area cities content themselves with ignoring pedestrians. A couple of cities have taken the unusual step of at least paying lip service to the idea that bipedal transportation should be safe, convenient, and comfortable. Bloomington, on the other hand, is trying to make a name for itself by actively discouraging pedestrians from using […]

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Addressing a neighborhood gap

Freeway development in the Twin Cities, while considered necessary for economic growth and to address traffic congestion, was not particularly kind to the neighborhoods it went through.  Where it didn’t destroy neighborhoods entirely, it seriously impacted them.  Once construction was complete, the neighborhoods had to contend with the noise and pollution from vehicles using the freeway.  The […]

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Crosswalk Creeps: An educational filmstrip

This is Edward G. Robinson; I’ve been torn from my eternal slumber to warn you about a dangerous new wave of degeratism sweeping across this country.  But first, some rules: No talking during the filmstrip. No sleeping during the filmstrip. If you have to go to the bathroom, be sure to get some ice for […]

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A Salute To Snowy Streets

As the Twin Cities and the Minnesota area recover from a “winter snow event,” it is time to pay tribute to those who make the streets and sidewalks of Minnesota interesting. First:We live in Minnesota. Why, oh why, do people forget how to drive on snow and ice annually? This is a life skill, much […]

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