The (re-)allocation of roadspace

The urban public right-of-way (roadspace) is a scarce resource that is now publicly allocated. Typically at the outside is a sidewalk (this might actually be on private property, but there is a right-of-passage there). Between the sidewalk and the street there is often a “boulevard”, a planted strip with occasional street trees and the frequent […]

Continue Reading

The End of Golf Course Urbanism?

[The 12th Hole on Edina’s Braemar Golf Course.]   It was a seemingly trivial bit of news last month. The Star Tribune had a short article on the closing down of a new golf course in the exurban town of Independence, Minnesota (population 3,622). The closing of the high-end golf course joins a list of […]

Continue Reading

Urban Highway Removal in Minneapolis?

What are your thoughts? Is urban highway removal possible in the Twin Cities? If so, where? In the Twin Cities, skyways have worked their way into the cultural vernacular probably more than was intended by their original designers. A few connections quickly turned into a culture of second level retail that eventually pulled retail away […]

Continue Reading

Minnesota’s Canadian tailpipe

Here in Minnesota, we don’t have any fossil fuel resources of our own.  There are no oil wells, fields of natural gas, or coal mines anywhere in the state.  While the state has committed to using more and more renewables over time, we have to import most of our energy from elsewhere—and that mostly means […]

Continue Reading

Should the City of St. Paul act as a property developer?

“The St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board, voted 4-3 on December 22 to support a complex financing package for the Penfield housing and retail development on the former Public Safety Building block at 10th and Minnesota streets.” [The Highland Villager, Jan. 11-24, 2012, p.1] [The Penfield as viewed from […]

Continue Reading

Three surprising things about Automobility

The recent debate over the ban on cell phones in cars points to the intractable pull that automobiles have on our everyday lives. On this site, and in urbanism cirlces more generally, the car is (justifiably) the target of a lot of criticism. As we think about how to redesign cities, and what we can […]

Continue Reading

In defense of skyways

Crossposted at streets.mn and transportationist.org Photos of skyways by author from Sydney (2), Portland (2), Minneapolis (3), Tokyo (1), and Harrogate (1) respectively. Everyone seems to be hating on Minneapolis’s world-beating skyway network. Sam Newberg is the latest in a recent post at streets.mn: Is it Time to Remove Those Pesky Skyways? : “The following […]

Continue Reading

Fine Cycling in Copenhagen

The Copenhagen Post reports on huge increases in fines for various cycling traffic violations in Denmark: Biking fines, effective Jan 1 Cycling without lights in the dark: 700 kr (US$119.58) Using a hand-held mobile phone while biking: 1,000 kr (US$170.84) Missing or defective brakes or reflectors: 700 kr (US$119.58) Cycling through a red light: 1,000 […]

Continue Reading

Is it Time to Remove Those Pesky Skyways?

The following post shares a similar argument as an article I wrote four years ago for the Downtown Journal (in Minneapolis). I was chastised at the time and suppose I will be again. However, with the recent opening of a new, $3 million skyway link to better connect the Accenture tower to adjacent blocks, as […]

Continue Reading

Peak Drive-Thru

Cross-posted at streets.mn and transportationist.org. Wells Fargo Bank has shuttered the drive-thru bank part of its branch at University and Emerald in Minneapolis (on the St. Paul City Line). [Google Street View image shown.] This may be for several reasons, the branch is immediately across the street from a Central Corridor LRT station (under construction), […]

Continue Reading

Bicycle Infrastructure as Educational Tools

I like the Bryant Avenue shared lane markings. I ride on Bryant Avenue nearly every day on my way to and from work. I see the shared lane markings more or less as training wheels  for cyclists, which is a characterization I expect the City of Minneapolis would probably distance themselves from. I was recently […]

Continue Reading

Mapping the Twin Cities bike counts

View Larger Map Much has already been written about the 2011 bike counts: the great news that counts continue to climb, how we might use them to prioritize infrastructure improvements, and even what grains of salt we should consume along with the data.  But I haven’t seen anyone map them yet. So here’s my contribution.  Circle […]

Continue Reading

The New Minneapolis Plan

Crossposted at streets.mn and transportationist.org The Minneapolis Downtown Council recently released “Intersections” a plan for Downtown Minneapolis. I had nothing to do with this plan, and so am free to comment. The plan is organized according to 10 major initiatives for 2025, I will list and comment on them, occasionally with snark, in order [my […]

Continue Reading