Category: Suburbia

Streets Empty Skyway

Are Downtowns Dead? And What Might that Mean for Our Neighborhoods?

Our current world situation led me to think about the song Downtown’s Dead, by the esteemed urbanist and bro-country performer Sam Hunt. Although I doubt that a global pandemic was on his mind when he penned this tune in 2018, it does raise a question that increasingly is being pondered. Is downtown dead? Most employers […]

Arbor Lakes Main Street

From Shopping Malls to Lifestyle Centers

On why structured parking is allegedly problematic for regional retail in general, which is causing problems at West End.  This installment will look at the overall evolution of regional retail – from downtown, to the regional malls, to lifestyle centers like West End.  Downtown 2.0: The Mall With the massive movement of people to the […]

Streetcar Robert Annapolis 1930

Suburb of the Month: West Saint Paul

Much as Golden Valley is the closest suburb to downtown Minneapolis, West Saint Paul is the closest suburb to downtown Saint Paul. Unlike Golden Valley, West Saint Paul has fairly good transit, especially on Robert St. No streetcars ran in West Saint Paul, though three streetcar lines ran from downtown Saint Paul to the city […]

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Suburb of the Month: Golden Valley

Hello, streets.mn readers! My name is John Charles Wilson and I have a history of commenting on this blog. Now I am taking the plunge and writing posts of my own. This post is planned to be the first in a series about public transit in the Twin Cities suburbs, how good or bad it […]

Lakeville

A Lukewarm Defense of Lakeville

Your author has spent a good deal of time in Lakeville. My wife grew up there, and it’s where my in-laws still live. In fact, our family of four lived there for a summer in between selling and buying a house. My father-in-law runs a small business there, and I’ve even spent a number of […]

Edina Public Works

The Edina Public Works Site is a Once in a Generation Opportunity

On my bus ride home each day the bus takes me by the vacant former Edina Public Works site in the Grandview district. I’m not the first to write about this topic – there’s an entire section of the city website dedicated to this parcel of land. Dating back to 2014, the Star Tribune did […]

Black Dog And Strada

Minnesota River Bridge: an E for Effort

The new I-35W Minnesota River Bridge will include a “pedestrian trail” to accommodate walkers and bikers across the Minnesota River. This is great news for folks commuting across the Minnesota River, as the nearest year-round crossing of the river is seven miles downstream at I-494.  There’s a catch, though. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) […]

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Bloomington’s Comprehensive Plan: Forward 2040

Bloomington’s 2040 Plan, titled “Forward 2040” was officially adopted by the city on Aug 5, 2019. Unlike in Minneapolis, it passed with little notice and little controversy. Here are a few points that caught my attention. Housing and Diversity Although the need for more high density housing is acknowledged like in the Minneapolis plan, here […]

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Safer, Saner Roads by Design

Engineers have a lot of options in how they design our streets and roads, how safe they make them, who they serve well and who they serve poorly. This post will examine why road design is so important, its underlying philosophy and, finally, some specific design options and why various elements are important. A future […]