What Happens When You Build Things Near Transit? An Unsurprising Case Study

A few weeks ago, I spoke to an older couple who, over the course of our conversation, mentioned that they had both attended the University of Minnesota. I am not a Gopher alum, but I did live near to the campus for a couple of years, on a little stub of 4th Street SE near […]

Continue Reading

A Comprehensive Transit Overhaul for the Twin Cities: Part I

This is the first of a three-part series, published today and the next two Mondays, detailing the rapid transit and regional rail requirements for the Twin Cities to become a transit-oriented, climate-neutral metropolitan region. Today’s entry focuses on rail rapid transit. Next week will cover bus rapid transit, while the final article will look at […]

Continue Reading

Designing Cities for Women: Lessons from Barcelona’s ‘Feminist City’

In my recent streets.mn article, “Want Equitable Cities? We’ll Need More Women in Transportation Planning,” I argued that women’s under-representation in transportation planning and policy making leads to the creation of urban spaces that fail to meet the needs of girls and women. I ended the article with a bold question: What would cities look […]

Continue Reading

Why I Support the 9th and 10th Street Bikeways in Downtown St. Paul

The St. Paul City Council recently approved the 9th and 10th Street portions of the Capital City Bikeway (CCB), and those are expected to be installed this summer during the city’s Pavement & Sidewalk Improvement Project. Those opposed to this project have gotten coverage from various local media outlets (Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, WCCO, City […]

Continue Reading

A Tale of University Near Dale

September 17, 2019 12.5 Miles Macalester-Groveland, Summit-University/Rondo Little Free Libraries have provided second, third or more lives to countless books. The wood and plastic boxes are ubiquitous in Saint Paul and beyond. The first seed library I’ve encountered is perched in front of 1930 Jefferson Avenue in Mac-Groveland. Side note: I am collecting shots of […]

Continue Reading

The Five Best Bus Films of All Time

Nobody makes bus movies. As we all know, buses aren’t sexy, not like streetcars, trains, planes, or cars. Buses are mundane, banal, impersonal, and claustrophobic. If you want to make a sweeping dramatic film, they’re terrible settings, like a submarine without any of the high-pressure stakes. That’s why there are a hundred train films for […]

Continue Reading

Make Minneapolis and St. Paul Parkway Closures Permanent

Since Minneapolis and St. Paul have closed some of its parkways to motor vehicles to assist with social distancing due to COVID-19, I have been enjoying the extra room it has been supplying to pedestrians and bicyclists.  Even before the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and the city of St. Paul implemented these measures, […]

Continue Reading

National Links: The Donut Model

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Minnesota Intercity Passenger Rail Plan – Getting Back On Track?

Public transportation policy and funding in Minnesota over the past several years – if not decades – has focused on roads, bridges and airports.  As Minnesota’s population changes, these modes alone cannot satisfy all of our transportation needs.  The time has come for investment in a truly multi-modal transportation system.   Many Midwestern states have invested […]

Continue Reading

Tenants’ Rights and Environmental Justice: In Pursuit of the Same Goal

My longtime home and beloved Silver City is beginning to change. Though St. Paul has often been maligned as “old-timey” by some of the more unsavory residents across the river in Minneapolis, I am proud to have seen St. Paul take tangible steps into the future by passage of the massively important Climate Action & […]

Continue Reading

The Problem with the Oakland Street Closures

A while back. I wrote about the importance of streets and sidewalks during the pandemic, and how I thought the Oakland Slow Streets project was a great model for cities to follow. As you’ve probably heard, in Oakland, California the city has installed small barriers on over 74 miles of mostly residential streets, creating a […]

Continue Reading