St. Paul’s Skyway Pigeon Rookery

Each year my wife and I attend the American Craft Council show at St. Paul RiverCentre, this year on April 8. The level of artistry and skill is breathtaking. I highly recommend it, but that’s not the reason for this post. Each year we park in the Kellogg Blvd. ramp and walk across the skyway, […]

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Weekend Links! Befuddled Robocars, Misunderstood Sunbelt Cities, and Airport Design

Every day at The Direct Transfer we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the DC region.  […]

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Sunday Summary – April 10, 2016

Today is audacious and noteworthy engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s birthday (born on this date in 1806). Among other accomplishments, Brunel was Resident Engineer on the Thames Tunnel (called the 8th Wonder of the World at the time) at Rotherhithe. After narrowly escaping death when the tunnel roof collapsed, flooding the tunnel, Brunel later hosted a lavish banquet […]

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Map of walking route history using Moves App

Track Your Moves

Since using MapMyWalk in 2009 to log a dog walk, I’ve been hooked on mapping my movement. I like knowing the number of miles I’ve clocked and looking back on all of the neighborhoods I’ve explored on the map. Over the years, I’ve used various iPhone apps and one by one they’ve fallen out of […]

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The Saga of the Stop Sign at 14th and Fremont

Saturday afternoon–as far as I can remember, the stop sign is standing. Sunday–it started innocently enough, someone hit the stop sign at the corner of North 14th Avenue and Fremont Avenue North over night, and yours truly took this picture. “Think it’s the result of distracted walking?”, my transportation-nerd friends chuckled politely. (In hindsight, someone called […]

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In Defense of “Unlustrous” Bloomington

Recently the StarTribune ran an article about how “Bloomington Has Lost its Luster“. The article makes the following points:  The housing stock is aging, the schools aren’t that great, and young people prefer the city. As a longtime resident of Bloomington, I feel it’s my duty to respond.  Some of my points I’ve made before in other articles, but […]

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Econ 101: Why I’ll Never Buy A Gas Car Again

Unless really necessary I wouldn’t buy a new gas-only car—one with an internal combustion engine, or ICE. I’d either purchase something with a plug or wait until there was a plug-in option for what I want. This isn’t a green decision, but a financial one based on operating costs and resale value. A plug-in electric […]

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Map Monday: Saint Paul Street Safety Evaluation

Here’s a fun-to-peruse map that emerged out of the process for creating Saint Paul’s almost-completed Complete Streets Design Manual. It’s an attempt to make a comprehensive map of Saint Paul’s streets ranked according to all the different safety factors. Check it out: This map is a few years old. It was part of an “overlay analysis” […]

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Tell Us Your Hennepin Avenue Hopes

The City of Minneapolis is redoing Hennepin Avenue through downtown. The street will be entirely removed and rebuilt. This presents the opportunity to totally change the street. We could make the sidewalks more pleasant, improve bus shelters, make dedicated spaces for people riding bikes and more. The City is asking, ”What is important to you?” […]

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Map Monday: 7-County Metro Population in Thirds

Last week on Twitter, Daniel Kay Hertz of City Observatory shared this map of the Chicago metro area divided into equal thirds, each containing roughly 3 million people. Since I was curious how that would look for Minneapolis St. Paul, I set off to find some data. To create the map below, I needed Census tracts with population and geographic […]

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Sunday Summary – April 3, 2016

Welcome to April which is being blown into Minnesota on 30 mph winds at the moment. Of course, we had to start the month with some fun before getting back to the serious (but still not always solemn) business of bringing you additional perspectives on places. Here’s the week: April Fooling Expanding the conversation about […]

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Legislative Report – Transportation Safety

The Minnesota Legislature is in the middle of a relatively short session. Numerous important topics are being addressed, perhaps none more-so than the transportation package. Non-trivial amounts of Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure are either beyond their original design service life or rapidly approaching that point. Experts have identified an unmet need of approximately $10 billion (with […]

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Pixel Shortage Threatens Photos, Videos and More

The skyrocketing use of high megapixel digital and video cameras, HD televisions, monitors, and computer graphics will cause a critical shortage of pixels before the end of the decade, according to a group of scientists from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Dr. Demarien Harrell, lead scientist in the NTIS study, said the daily use […]

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City Considers Consolidating Businesses into Distribution Districts

On April 1, the Saint Paul City Council will consider a proposal to divide the city into corporate distribution districts in order to reduce wear and tear on city streets.  The first phase of the program assigns food distributors to specific neighborhoods of Saint Paul. The resolution, if passed, would give exclusive access of a […]

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For Bde Maka Ska, a New Bridge to Honor a New Name

In an effort to boost accessibility and equity, Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board has announced plans to bridge Lake Street across the north end of Lake Bde Maka Ska (also known as Lake Calhoun). The eight lane bridge is expected to be complete by summer of 2018, and is expected to save tens of thousands of motorists […]

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