Podcast #8 – Charles Avenue Friendly Streets with Lars Christiansen

The next podcast is here! This episode is an interview with Lars Christiansen, one of the organizers of the Charles Avenue Friendly Streets Initiative. The Initiative was an attempt in St Paul to develop bottom-up strategies for designing streets that better serve the residents of the Frogtown and Hamline-Midway areas in St Paul, along […]

Continue Reading

How to Slow Traffic – Put S#!t in the Way

One of my favorite comedy bits is Robin Williams having an imaginary conversation with a Scotsman about how the Scots invented golf. You can view it on YouTube here (the key to this post occurs at 1:21), and it goes something like this: “Aye, here’s my idea for a sport. You knock a ball in to […]

Continue Reading

Traffic calming on Park and Portland: a good start in overcoming the complexities of multiple jurisdictions

Park and Portland Avenues, Minneapolis’ twin one-lane north-south STROADS, were scheduled for a “mill and overlay” next year. (For those that don’t know, a mill and overlay is when they scrape off the asphalt surface of the street and lay down a fresh coat of blacktop.) It’s a great opportunity to change the lane configuration […]

Continue Reading

All Minnesota’s Affair

For the 12 days before and including Labor Day, Minnesotans reconvene at the State Fair. It is traditional and embedded in the culture. It matters here, unlike the fairs in other states I have lived (Maryland, Georgia, California). It is reportedly the best in the United States. The evidence for its centrality is that the […]

Continue Reading Podcast #7 – Re-Opening Lake Street with Robert Lilligren

This week’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Minneapolis Councilmember Robert Lilligren, who represents the area aroudn Lake Street and Nicollet. A little while back, while working on a story for, our contributor Prescott Morril interviewed Lilligren about his project to un-do the terrible K-Mart development project from the 70s. I […]

Continue Reading

The Great Bike Helmet Debate

There are a few conversations about bikes that inevitably get repeated over and over again without anything getting resolved. Why won’t bikers stop at stop signs? Why are cyclists in the road when there’s a perfectly good path right next to the road? The most recent question to rear it’s head in the local papers is […]

Continue Reading

Who doesn’t love a good tailgate?

“All of the concept drawings of the now-approved Vikings stadium proposal include large swaths of dedicated tailgating lots near the stadium. If Minneapolis builds these lots, the new facility will simply repeat the development mistakes of the area surrounding the Metrodome.” – Sam Rockwell at MinnPost Who doesn’t love a good tailgate? Back in the […]

Continue Reading

Finding solutions for the Empire Builder’s capacity problems

Despite its unreliability and low frequency of service, Amtrak’s Empire Builder often faces capacity issues. The train serves 45 stations along the way from Chicago to the Pacific Northwest, resulting in an immense possible number of trip combinations.  Some trips become impossible to book because of other riders who overlap on part of the route.  […]

Continue Reading

So You Say You Want a Sidewalk?

“You’d think with all the taxes we pay that they could have put in a sidewalk.” That is the exasperated comment from my mother-in-law as she and I were driving past the local playground near their house in the Milwaukee suburbs with my kids in the back seat. She has a very good point. The […]

Continue Reading Podcast #6 – Ten Chances No Hustle with Patricia Healy McMeans

  In this week’s episode of the podcast, I’m talking with Minneapolis artist Patricia Healy McMeans about Ten Chances No Hustle, a month-long residency program that’s just wrapping up this week. The residency took place in an old bakery storefront on Minneapolis’s Nicollet Avenue that had been empty for years. I became intrigued by […]

Continue Reading

The City of Saint Anthony Falls

Joined to the western half of Minneapolis (and the United States) by the I-35W Bridge, the Northeast and Southeast quarters of Minneapolis were once the City of St. Anthony. This area includes St. Anthony Main, but not the current City of St. Anthony (St. Anthony Village), or the neighborhood of St. Anthony Park in St. […]

Continue Reading

Bill’s Skyway Revolution Tour

Our hero leads the revolt … with an educational walking tour!  Chaos soon erupts … NOTE: *A big thanks to Bill Lindeke (of Streets.MN and TC Sidewalks) for the great Minneapolis skyway tour (courtesy of the Soap Factory’s Common Room). For the record, in real life, talk of revolution was light, but the tour was […]

Continue Reading

Nicollet Again & Still; A Word with Council Member Lilligren

This last Friday I had the pleasure and opportunity to interview Robert Lilligren, Minneapolis Ward 6 Council Member who presides over the blight known as the “Sea of Parking” and it’s associated K-Mart at the intersection of Nicollet Ave and Lake Street. As you walk into Council Member Robert Lilligren’s office, one of the first things […]

Continue Reading

Golfing in the City of St. Paul

Golf is a humbling game, especially when you lose to a 98 year old. [Above: The menacing 2nd hole at the Highland 9 in St. Paul. I bogeyed, which is good for me] Public golf courses are in the red. For that matter, golf courses in general. There is even dispute going on right now […]

Continue Reading