Archive | Walking

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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Three Ways to Improve Walkability Without Touching the Street

Most US cities, Minneapolis and St Paul included, are in dire need of traffic calming and complete streets.  Critical streets are dangerously overbuilt: corners have been widened, lanes widened, streets widened. Over the last half century, Herculean governmental and financial efforts have been thrown at reshaping our cities for driving at the expense of those […]

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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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Newflash: St. Paul isn’t Minneapolis (and that’s a good thing)

If you were to read the City of St. Paul’s legislative wish list, you’d see a list of big projects such as: $14 million to improve the Children’s Museum $7 million for parking and transportation improvements at Como Park $32 million loan forgiveness tied to the Xcel Energy Center (in an effort to not pay […]

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2012 Best Skyway/Underground System: Downtown Minneapolis

Skyways are often derided by idealistic urbanists. Critics point to barren downtown streetscapes and blame the skyways for lack of activity. In my previous life as a naive urban planning student learning about cities, I criticized them myself. But I now think of skyways in the same way as most people probably do: just another option […]

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In praise of contiguity

In February of 1999 I visited Minneapolis with my then fiancé to decide whether to take a job at the University of Minnesota. It was Valentine’s Day, and unseasonably warm (high 40s F), and there was snowmelt and piles on the ground, but the streets and sidewalks were not covered. We asked the concierge at […]

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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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When the humble bus stop is a little too humble

View Larger Map This is the busiest transit stop in the state of Minnesota, seeing about 4,300 boardings daily, though you’d never know it by looking. It’s on the south side of City Center on 7th Street and Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, and lacks most of the amenities you’d expect to find at a location […]

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The Limits to Educational Campaigns

  The list of recent pedestrian fatalities is long: take the accident in Ramsey where an elderly couple was killed by a car, or the death of Cleo Thiberge St Paul. Partly in response to the wave of recent accidents, MN-Dot has launched a new pedestrian safety campaign. You’ve probably seen some of the cute billboards […]

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Hey drunkies, walk safe.

MNDot Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Years after the semi-successful Share the Road campaign for bikes, MNDot is launching a new edition — Share the Road Pedestrians. The new program has some pluses, and some head-shaking moments: Yay: MNDot asserts that “Pedestrians and motorists are equally responsible for pedestrian safety.” Boo: Site does not mention the cases in which a bicyclist […]

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