Tag Archives | freeways

Map Monday: 494 Corridor Land Uses, 1953-76

Here’s a fun historical map showing how land use changed during the boom time heyday of the I-494 strip on the south edge of the Twin Cities. It’s from a chapter out of a book called “The Geography of Urban Transportation,” edited by Susan Hanson and Genevieve Giuliano. The chapter, by Peter O. Muller, is […]

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Downtown Minneapolis

Hidden Priorities, in Plain Sight

A friend compiled this series of Google Earth images. I scanned them, and intended to get on with my work, but I just couldn’t. I went through them again. And then again. I found myself rethinking the city I live in. Most people think Minneapolis looks like this: Or this: But, when you step back, […]

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Fourplexes, Freeways, and Fearmongering

I’m very tired of white people using the words “bulldozing” and “eminent domain” to spread fear and misinformation about the 2040 Comp Plan, when literal city blocks of communities of color were leveled and replaced with bare pavement in living memory. I hadn’t seen the redlining maps overlaid on the current-day city, or maybe just […]

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Chart of the Day: Driving Distance versus Atomic Bomb Location

Here’s a blast from the past that is technically a chart: I saw this on Twitter the other day, but I don’t remember where. So apologies to whoever posted it. As you might recall, the 1956 Interstate Highway Act was actually titled the “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act.” According to Wikipedia: The addition of […]

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If the Center of the American Experiment Wants to Fix Congestion, They Should Fight for Telecommuting

According to a Star Tribune op-ed that’s already been heavily covered by streets.mn, we’re in for a summer long bombardment of messaging financed by local partisan think tank Center of the American Experiment. Despite reams of research that argues otherwise, motorists will see billboards, bumper stickers, and radio ads proclaiming that the only way to fix […]

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Getting Around the Block: City vs. City

In my previous post, I compared the city block layouts of the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. This time, I thought I’d zoom out and compare the whole cities. Above is the map for Saint Paul, a city of about 300,000 residents. Blocks that are green, yellow, and dark red are smaller in size, […]

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Getting Around the Block: Downtown vs. Downtown

How hard is it to get around the city block where you live, work, or shop? Does that affect the modes of transportation you choose on a daily basis? Does it impact the choices of city planners, or the areas where businesses choose to locate? Until I started working in downtown Saint Paul, I often […]

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Introducing the Twin Cities Metro Area Future Highway Map

This is one idea of what the state trunk highway system could look like in the future, perhaps 30 years out. I’ve pointedly avoided calling it a “fantasy” map, since it’s based mostly on official planning documents, not me drawing lines wherever I think a new freeway would be cool. I’ve also excluded the “I-894 […]

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GIF of the Day: Hennepin-Lyndale Bottleneck Through the Years

Reconstruction of Minneapolis’ Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck has begun. There will be traffic tweaks and some much needed bike/pedestrian improvements, but this reconstruction won’t be a radical makeover of the kind Scott Shaffer proposed over a year ago. Scott suggested we “drop the spaghetti bowl” (a “mess of undulating streets and arcing flyover ramps to and from the freeway, […]

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MnDOT and Saint Paul’s Apology Doesn’t Change Anything

On July 17, The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Saint Paul mayor Chris Coleman apologized for bulldozing the Rondo neighborhood of Saint Paul to build Interstate 94. Beginning in 1958, the freeway destroyed nearly a thousand homes and businesses and it displaced thousands of people at the core of a predominantly African American neighborhood. It […]

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