North By Midwest

In November, I joined an overflow crowd at the Walker Arts Center to hear a panel discussion entitled Midwest? The Past, Present, and Future of Minnesota’s Identity. The discussion stemmed from common questions of identity, and proposed that Minnesota and the Twin Cities secede from the “Midwest” and claim ownership of a new region: the North. […]

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Zoning’s Impact on Minneapolis Form

I’ve been re-reading the book Zoned Out on the bus ride to and from work lately, and it got me thinking about Minneapolis and our zoning history. While our whole city follows a rigid grid built largely along streetcar lines, some neighborhoods are clearly more dense than others. Minneapolis implemented its first zoning code in 1924, two years […]

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Every Road For Every Person

Our roads have historically been for transportation by whatever means someone had available. For several centuries this meant feet, horse, or donkey. Bicycles were added to the mix about 1870 and cars some 30 years later. By the 1970’s, however, our roads had become car-only thoroughfares. Other modes were largely banished—to sidewalks or increasingly to nothing. […]

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Transportation Day at the State Capitol

Another big transportation event is happening this week in the Minnesota State Capitol. Sponsored and organized by Transit for Livable Communities and Move MN, Thursday, February 12 is Transportation Day of Action. The main event of the day will be a march from the National Guard Armory (600 Cedar Street) to the State Capitol. Supporters can […]

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Chart of the Day: Per Capita VMT over Time by State

Typically, we see LOS and VMT charts done nationally. Here, you can compare how these rates changed  by state: The Washington Post piece has a bunch of other charts on VMT vs. GDP which make for some interesting food for thoughts. Here’s the takeaway: Over the 2000s, 30 other states in this data no longer […]

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Podcast #82 – The Minnesota Transportation Picture with Scott Dibble

The podcast this week is a conversation with Scott Dibble, who represents Minnesota Senate District 61 covering southwest Minneapolis. For the last ten years, Senator Dibble has been a leading voice in Minnesota conversations around two key issues; the first is the equal rights movement round sexual orientation, where Dibble sponsored the gay marriage legislation […]

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A Twin Cities Paving Moratorium

Last Wednesday (February 4)  I attended a public presentation by Ramsey County engineers for a proposed redesign of the Randolph and Lexington Avenue intersection. They are proposing to spend a million and a half dollars to purchase four properties on the northeast corner of the intersection and bulldoze them to make space for a dedicated […]

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Sunday Summary – February 8, 2015

It’s another summary of another week with all the posts carefully valued, occasionally cross-referenced and thoughtfully arranged for quick and/or quirky reading. Let’s Do It Better Department Sidewalks Need to Stop Killing Trees summarizes and responds to a recent report given to the Minneapolis City Council’s Transportation and Public Works committee which revealed that “boulevard trees […]

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The Stillwater Bridge Story

Part I: The Backstory Behind the Bridge Undoubtedly the highest profile road project in Minnesota is the new bridge at Stillwater, the St. Croix Crossing. (The project was originally known officially as the Stillwater-Houlton Bridge, or colloquially just the Stillwater Bridge, before the present name). Although there is a lot of current information available, the […]

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Chart of the Day: Edina Bike/Walk Count Results, Daily Use Profile

Disclaimer, I work for the City of Edina, and made these charts for a presentation to the Edina Transportation Commission. This chart shows all counts taken this year and summed all the times in 15 minute intervals throughout the city. (Four of the 15 minute segments were summed together to make the chart cleaner and easier […]

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Book Review: “Our Way or the Highway: Inside the Minnehaha Free State”

In my work as a librarian, I have the extreme pleasure to curate my branch’s local history collection.  Since I took up that charge, Mary Losure’s Our Way or the Highway: Inside the Minnehaha Free State (U of M Press, 2002) has been staring me down, begging me to pluck it off the shelf and check […]

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Sidewalks Need to Stop Killing Trees

On February 3rd, the Minneapolis City Council’s Transportation and Public Works committee received a very important, somewhat disturbing report from Professor Gary Johnson in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Forest Resources.  The most striking finding: boulevard trees near recent sidewalk replacement work are more than twice as likely to fail. The report is based on extensive […]

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Chart of the Day: Edina Bike/Walk Count Results, Usage by Mode

Disclaimer, I work for the City of Edina, and made these charts for a presentation to the Edina Transportation Commission. This chart is a sum of all the locations’ daily averages for bicyclists and pedestrians during the 2014 Edina bicycling and walking counts. Something fun to note is that the first chart Year-to-Year Comparisons did […]

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Exhibit: “MetroSketchers: Four Years and Counting”

A year ago on, I wrote about the Urban Sketchers movement which seeks to celebrate the cities we live in “one sketch at a time.” One very active, local group of sketchers, the Facebook-based MetroSketchers is having an exhibit of their sketches titled “MetroSketchers Four Years and Counting” at the The Black Dog Cafe & Wine Bar in […]

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