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Bus Lanes Now For Downtown Minneapolis

I started writing this piece in my head on December 2nd, a cold, slushy evening on which I attempted to take the bus from downtown Minneapolis to Lyndale and 28th in order to attend a public meeting about street safety. I say “attempted” because—although I did eventually get to where I wanted to go—very little […]

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A History of Traffic Management Technology

Earlier I wrote about the history of our Interstate Highway System (Part One and Part Two) and how they were partly a 1930s response to growing urban congestion, as big of a threat to the freedom of mobility as mud and ruts were only a few decades before. However the dream of ending congestion didn’t […]

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Waiting For a Sign: ‘Don’t Block the Intersection’

The secret is out. Drivers are needlessly, pointlessly blocking downtown intersections, causing backups of Metro Transit buses, as Bill Lindeke detailed in an article for MinnPost (“Is there a solution for the buses vs. blockers bottleneck in downtown Minneapolis?“). The problem is acute at certain points, such as where Nicollet Mall meets Washington Avenue South […]

Highway 100 History

A History of Highway 100 Part One: Overview

Previously I covered the history of Minnesota’s trunk highway system. At it’s inception in 1920 the system contained what still is the core of the system. But the new governor, Floyd. B. Olson, championed a massive increase in size and scope of the state government, including a proposal to vastly increase the mileage of the […]

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The Lowry Hill Apartments: a Place Called Home

What is an apartment building? It can be a place to hang your hat. It can also be a community. The general perception is that apartments are temporary places to live; training wheels for home-ownership. But for many it’s not training wheels: it’s a home. Apartments are often the first step in independence for young […]

The Quarterly Transit Report – June 2018

The June 6 schedule change includes some noteworthy improvements, both permanent and temporary. Route 4 Johnson Street NE-New Brighton reroute All Route 4G New Brighton buses will use 39th Avenue instead of 37th Avenue between Stinson Blvd. and Silver Lake Road. This is a classic case of diverting a route to access more traffic generators. […]

The Hennepin Bus Lane Experiment

I’ve been a Route 6 rider for over 40 years, and you’d think I’d be resigned to the long, slow trip down Hennepin Avenue between Franklin and Lake Street. The Wedge/Uptown is prime bus riding country, so you expect to stop every block. Even though you expect a slow trip, it’s frustrating when it takes […]

Sunday Summary – January 21, 2018

Last January, we published the first of Max Hailperin’s alphabetical walks through Minneapolis neighborhoods with Armatage (take another walk with him below) as well as a couple of posts about winter sidewalks which are always relevant in the winter here (winter storm on the way as I write this). Also from the archives, you can […]

Still Lots to Learn from Minneapolis’ Great Gateway Mistake

I’m as obsessed with Minneapolis’ lost Gateway District as anyone who hasn’t written a book on the topic, so I read with some relish the peerless local historian Larry Millett’s recent Star Tribune opinion piece: Minneapolis’ notorious Gateway District was razed almost 60 years ago. It’s time to stop mourning its loss. I came away disappointed. […]

Traffic and Transit: 1949 vs 2017

Going through some files recently, I came across a City of Minneapolis cordon count from 1948 and 1949. It shows how many people entered and left downtown on a single day in May. I also have a metro-wide traffic study from 1949, which happens to be the year I was born. Among other things, it […]