Archive | Suburbia

The City: Where Ping Pong Tables Go To Die

I used to say the internet was suburban. Theory: Facebook (and possibly the Internet) is suburban. Twitter is urban. — Chris Steller (@chris_steller) April 13, 2013 The idea being, both on the internet and in the suburbs you get the feeling you could be anywhere. Nowadays I might offer some serious quibbles with that proposition, […]

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How Accessible Are Twin Cities Bus Stops?

You would be hard pressed to find a Twin Cities intersection that doesn’t have ADA-mandated curb cuts. In contrast, almost half of the metro area bus stops are not accessible. Furthermore, there is no count of how many actually meet ADA requirements. This is a major hole in the accessibility network. It also has a […]

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Can Suburb-to-Suburb Express Service Work in the Twin Cities?

Two years ago Route 494 began service between Shakopee and Maple Grove as part of a partnership between Southwest Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Plymouth Metrolink, and Maple Grove Transit. There were station stops at Marschall Road Transit Station in Shakopee, Southwest Station in Eden Prairie, United Healthcare and Optum campuses in Minnetonka, Hopkins Crossroad […]

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Comprehensive Plans: Where Do You Want To Live?

Many of our suburban cities are updating comprehensive plans. These set the course for what our communities will look like over the next 20 to 30 years and are quite important. These impact safety, community desirability (and so home values, city tax revenue and ability to maintain infrastructure), quality of life, physical and mental health […]

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The 21st Century Southdale Vehicle Collapse

The perception that traffic congestion is worse today than in the past is a real phenomenon. Might as well call it traffic nostalgia. Plus, the perception that traffic is only going to get worse is a common objection for constructing new housing anywhere. A fourplex or daycare being proposed can bring forth primal concerns about […]

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Chart of the Day: Metro Population Growth 2010-2017

The Metropolitan Council reports net growth of the metropolitan area of 8% in the years between 2010 and 2017, with the greatest growth occurring in “Urban Center communities” — Minneapolis and Saint Paul and the region’s oldest suburbs. Growth in these areas has accounted for one-third of the region’s population growth since 2010. Growth by […]

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Map Monday: Metro Area Change In Volume of Low-Wage Jobs

Eric Roper had a must-read article in the Star Tribune this weekend about suburban low-wage jobs and the challenge of transit for those workers. It has a bunch of interesting stories for people who think about transit, density, and employment. It also includes this map! It’s worth noting that the total number of jobs in Minneapolis, […]

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A Ride On The 865 to East Bethel

Note: Service Changes that went into effect on August 19th mean that this trip is no longer possible by public transit.  Riding transit for fun is a pastime of mine. Prior to living in the Twin Cities, I was living in San Francisco, where I grew up in a low-income, relatively car-free household. The only […]

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Penn & 66th is the best small business district in Richfield. Why replace it?

Last spring, at a voter forum for Richfield’s west-side Council seat, there were a number of questions about the mid-century commercial development that lines Penn Avenue between the Crosstown and 68th Street. Voters and candidates spoke of “tired” buildings, non-conforming sites, and inadequate parking. These questions about Penn Avenue seem to come up in every […]

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The Causes of Crashes

There’s been much discussion about car vs. pedestrian crashes in the Twin Cities and closer-in suburbs. Here is a discussion about one in an exurb and one in a small town. When a crash happens, eventually the investigating agency winds up saying someone french-fried when they should have pizza-ed, assigns blame, the insurance companies and lawyers […]

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