Category: Urban Design

The M.U.T.C.D. Revisited

From the FHWA website:“The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways or MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways and private roads open to public travel”. It is “a compilation of national standards for all traffic control […]

Streets.mn Virtual Happy Hour: Rethinking Duluth’s Core

Have you ever driven, ridden or walked around in Duluth and noticed how Interstate 35 cuts through the city almost impenetrably?  Perhaps you have noticed the sheer scale of the freeway and overpasses and their seeming lack of relation to the context of the human-scaled surroundings? Maybe you wish there were more natural spaces, softer […]

Ridgedale Center photo from the parking lot

Urban Parking, Suburban Style

I recently attended an open house put on by the City of Minneapolis to discuss two options for the upcoming reconstruction of Hennepin Ave from Douglas to Lake Street. In a sign of progress on street design in Minneapolis, both designs reduce car traffic to a single lane to promote traffic calming and to provide space […]

Time to Press Pause on the Gold Line

I’ve tried to keep an open mind to the Gold Line/Gateway Corridor between St. Paul and Woodbury ever since bus rapid transit (BRT) was the chosen mode. Transit improvements in the East Metro are just as needed as in the West Metro. However, the more the project has progressed, the more I see flaws with […]

21 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis.

No, We Should Not Abolish the HPC. But It Could Look Different.

An essay posted January 15, 2021 on streets.mn entitled “Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past” is a fairly typical critique of heritage preservation and the role of heritage preservation commissions (HPCs) in American cities. The article points to the frequently absurd minutia and short-sightedness of HPC meetings and staff reports, but does not fully […]

Learn to Love Shared Walls

To get the sustainable, vibrant, and livable cities we say we want, we’re all going to have to learn to love shared walls. I’m in my mid 30s, and in that privileged class where many or most of my friends are in professional jobs and hitting that point in their careers where they’re looking to […]

Preserve The Future, Not Just The Past

Because I have a lot of important things to fill my time, I recently tuned in to a meeting of the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. There was just one item on the agenda: the proposed demolition of a low-slung downtown office building at 17 N Washington Avenue, which would then be replaced by a 27 […]

Stitching Together Duluth’s Downtown and Waterfront – Part Two

The Duluth Waterfront Collective is a group of planners, designers, thinkers, and others united in our desire to create a more livable, equitable and sustainable Duluth. Our plan, entitled Highway 61 Revisited, takes an eraser to a one-mile stretch of Interstate 35 and will use a community engagement process to draw in the blank space […]

A Street Not for People

Like many transit riders, I have been riding much less since the pandemic, mostly because I have been sticking closer to my home and neighborhood. (Though note: there is starting to be evidence that transit-riding is not a big contributor to COVID-19 rates.) That decrease is a personal sadness because of the lost human connections […]

Tunnels of the Twin Cities Suburbs

Notable Tunnels of the Twin Cities Suburbs

Many suburbs have retrofitted bicycle infrastructure, usually so that vulnerable users won’t slow automotive throughput. Along the way, many of these projects have spawned tunnels, which are always fun.