2/14/12 Minneapolis Transportation & Public Works Committee

If you need an intro, please see the last three summaries. 1-4.  Street Resurfacing in Linden Hills and Ventura Village, plus three blocks of 1st St S  This meeting contained public hearings on street resurfacings reported here earlier.  The owners of 25 properties on or near Linden Hills Blvd will be removed from the assessment […]

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What happens when a street is just no good?

Having a quality streetscape is beyond important, and one essential elements of this is having buildings that address the street. But, what if the street isn’t any good? Should buildings still address it? What happens when a street is just no good? The River Crossing Apartments in St. Paul are pretty good. It’s St. Paul’s largest project […]

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Experimental Cities: DIY, Pop-Up, and Temporary Design

Anyone who hasn’t been to New York City in the last few years will immediately notice a few changes to the urban landscape. Most obviously, Broadway Avenue, New York’s “main street,” has a whole new look and feel around Midtown Manhattan. The Bloomberg Administration, let by his transportation Commissioner, has transformed Broadway into a decent […]

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No New Streets

I spent the last week in Florida doing a series of Curbside Chats and then participating in the Next Urbanism Summit, a retreat of CNU’s NextGen. We all gathered in Steve Mouzon’s (The Original Green) office and started off with everyone in the group giving a Pecha Kucha style presentation (20 slides, 20 seconds each) […]

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Loving Place

Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day when we are encouraged to show our appreciation for the people that we love, I also want to talk about the places that we love. I was reminded why I love the atmosphere of Minneapolis last night when I emerged from night class to find my car decorated with […]

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Trains are speeding up in Michigan

View Amtrak Michigan Services in a larger map While anti-rail fervor has hit a high-water mark in the past two years and major intercity rail projects have been canceled in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida, progress is still being made in other states. Despite neighboring both Ohio and Wisconsin, the state of Michigan has remained fairly […]

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A Typology of Beg Buttons

The mid-august sun is hastening the sweat down your back as you frantically walk-run towards the bus stop where you will catch a bus to your job interview.  Finally the stop comes into sight, and your bus is just pulling into it.  But the stop lies across an intersecting street, and a traffic signal stares […]

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Mapping Station Use in the 2011 NiceRide Season

This post was co-authored by J. Schoner, A. Harrison, and X. Wang. It is cross-posted on streets.mn and networkdistance.posterous.com. To no small amount of clamor among the non-motorized community in the Twin Cities and nation at large, Nice Ride MN recently published their complete 2011 data. A few early cuts with Excel and ArcGIS reveal […]

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Architecture.mn’s Video Competition

Today is the last day to vote for the interesting videos over at Architecture.mn’s website. Many of them have great urban planning, transportation, and urban design angles, including one made by my friend and collage Matty Lang entited ‘Ample Parking’.   Videotect 2: Ample Parking from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo. I’m not saying you need […]

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County Seats

Like Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, this post was conceived last spring in an ExcedrinPM and caffeine influenced dream after experiencing a migraine headache while driving west from the Twin Cities to visit Willmar and Olivia, Minnesota (as a test-run for a possible cross-country automobile trip with 3 children. The test was extremely valuable in that it […]

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Roadway Hierarchies

Over the past decade or so, the hierarchical roadway system used by engineers and planners to classify roadways in the US has increasingly received criticism for being outdated. Many individuals blame the hierarchy system for the predominant suburban development pattern. For example, the author(s?) of the Wikipedia entry titled Street Hierarchy don’t try very hard to hide their […]

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(Greater) Minnesota Transit Index

From the Minnesota Legislature’s Session Weekly, an index of Minnesota transit statistics.  Here is a sample: 62% of Greater Minnesota transit users have household incomes of $20,000 or less. 51% of Greater Minnesota transit users do not have a driver’s license 86% of Greater Minnesota transit users ride at least twice a week 50% of […]

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Lake Elmo and the Misconceptions of “Growth”

Critics say Lake Elmo’s anti-growth bias is obvious when you look at what’s happened in neighboring cities. Those neighbors have eagerly welcomed malls, factories, offices. – from the Pioneer Press, Jan. 29, 2012, Lake Elmo: Small, and shrinking To those unfamiliar, Lake Elmo is a quaint, little town east of St. Paul. Lake Elmo provides […]

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1/17/12 Minneapolis Transportation & Public Works Committee

I know you all have been anxiously awaiting a report on the Minneapolis Transportation and Public Works Committee meeting of Jan. 17th.  Which rough and crumbly streets will finally receive a smooth new layer of asphalt?  Which ancient combined sewers will finally be separated, sparing our rivers the pollution from our societal effluent?  I apologize […]

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Shared Space

The concept of building shared space within the public realm is a radical one here in the United States, where automobiles are not only given priority, but completely dominate most public spaces. With the financial insolvency inherent in our current approach becoming more and more apparent each day, there is a need to study alternatives. […]

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