Do Sidewalks Make You Vote Democratic?

A few months ago, I read the following tweet by über-famous polling guru, Nate Silver: @fivethirtyeight Heuristic: if a place has sidewalks, it votes Democratic. Otherwise, it votes Republican. It’s something I’ve heard before. Bill Bishop’s fascinating book about political and neighborhood also points to the deep connection between urban form and political affiliation. Central cities […]

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Dreaming of the 7th Street Mall

  Nicollet Mall is the best part of Minneapolis. If not, it is definitely the best part of downtown. It is the best example of successful urbanism that we have, and its close proximity to the Minneapolis Convention Center has redeemed the reputation of the city for countless reluctant visitors. To readers of this blog […]

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It Can’t Happen Here

Because we, the righteous, live in the blessed Midwest, we do not face God’s Wrath We are protected against all such natural disasters. CNN can entertain us with Disaster Porn while we comfortably eat popcorn in our homes. The local news can try to frighten us with “Superstorm Sandy, can it happen here?” stories, but […]

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Things that go BURP in the night

“If you’ve got nothing better to do this Tuesday than hanging around on the streetcorner violating the Minneapolis Lurking Ordinance, why not join me for a meeting of the Buffs of Urban and Regional Planning (BURP)?” – Twin City Sidewalks blog. Yes, join the Buffs of Urban and Regional Planning tonight … 5 pm Tuesday […]

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Is the jig up?

In the boom years, cities got very lazy with the assessment process, allowing the general widespread rising of property values to cover up their poor practices. Few have adjusted to the new reality. Now that the market has changed, a very clear statement from the legal system reaffirming that actual property values need to measurably increase would […]

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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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Toronto v. Minneapolis

I first went to Toronto when I was 12. I had been following the city for a few years, having written to the city’s economic development / tourism office asking for reading materials as a young wannabe planner the summer before (along with about 50 other North American cities, whose addresses I obtained from the […]

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Understanding the Use of Non-Motorized Transportation Facilities

A recent report by researchers Greg Lindsey, Kristopher Hoff, Steve Hankey, and Xize Wang from the University of Minnesota is available for download from the Center for Transportation Studies website here. The report is titled Understanding the Use of Non-Motorized Transportation Facilities, and it is a fantastic read for anyone interested in bicycle and pedestrian counts in […]

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Podcast #13 – Development Challenges of East Lake Street with Sam Newberg

  This week’s podcast is a roundtable conversation about East Lake Street featuring Sam Newberg, one of our regular contributors. As part of his day job, Sam recently completed a study on development potential of the East Lake corridor, which runs from Hiawatha East to the Mississippi River. Sam, Spencer Agnew, Nate Hood and myself met […]

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The Streets.MN Network

Streets.MN is a non-profit network of Minnesota-based writers. We each posts anywhere from about 1 to 3 times per month. Beyond that, we each have our own blogs [see here] that have original content not posted on Streets.MN. I wanted to take time to highlight some of our writers blogs and recent posts. Quick Promo: […]

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Investment Ready Places

There are countless people working today to solve the myriad of complex problems we face in America. Few are as bold, yet practical, as a new initiative from www.street-sense.org called Investment Ready Places. It is one part triage, one part aspiration. It is exactly the kind of thinking we need right now. The contributors at Street […]

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Improving Community through Progressive Approaches to Construction Mitigation

Infrastructure projects such as road construction and bridge re-building are more than just public works endeavors. They are events that affect the whole community. Like any disruptive event, construction can pull a community apart or bring it together. If approached holistically with intentional collaboration and wisely applied funding, we can have better roads, and stronger […]

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New light-rail vehicles bring a fresh look to Twin Cities transit

Metro Transit officially unveiled their first new Siemens-built light-rail vehicle on Wednesday, previewing what most of the Twin Cities light-rail fleet will look like just a few years from now.  It also marked the first showing of vehicles with the new “METRO” branding which will be used on light rail and bus rapid transit lines […]

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We Must Do More to Improve Hiawatha Avenue Crossings

It is time to stop letting the highway standards dictate pedestrian safety improvements along Hiawatha Avenue. Anyone who has crossed Hiawatha Avenue on foot or by bicycle knows it’s a pretty rough go. Even with an actual walk signal illuminated the experience feels like taking your life in your hands, and I constantly rubberneck to […]

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Good Ideas in Transportation – A Streetstorm

Ok, Streets.MN folks, this is a survey. We bloggers are well known for complaining about things. Transportation seems to progress slowly, yet we know it can go faster. Well, what are the best ideas in the transportation field? We don’t want to talk about specific projects, rather what are the “best” ideas, policies and technologies […]

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