Charles, Churches, and Culture – Part 1

May 24, 2014 17.9 miles Macalester-Groveland, Lexington-Hamline, Frogtown, North End Houses of worship flourish in Saint Paul. My rides have taken me past large, traditional church buildings with cross-topped spires, small storefront houses of worship with handwritten signs and nearly everything between. Today’s trip featured views of many of them. More on that later… You’ve […]

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Open Streets Minneapolis – Sustainable Transportation, Seward Businesses and Even Cute Dogs

Well, the Open Streets Minneapolis Franklin Avenue event was certainly a success. It was filled with local produce, Seward businesses, bicyclists, pedestrians, Nice Rides, concessionaires, cute dogs, a puppet show and even a player piano. Rain did clear some people out but that didn’t happen until well over 4 hours into it. One thing I […]

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Saint Paul’s New Street Design Manual

The wave of new “Complete Streets” laws require cities to develop “Complete Streets Plans” and new street design manuals. Street design manuals are like smart phone contracts or software download agreements. They tend to be so mind-numbingly boring and full of technical jargon that, rather than read them, we just click “agree.” Later on, we […]

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Port of Excelsior

Main Street – Excelsior

Excelsior, Minnesota is home to Minnesota’s second operating streetcar line (part of the Minnesota Streetcar Museum). Being good transportationists, we visited a few weeks ago. Excelsior is legally a city, though really a town, with about 2,400 people. Excelsior is located about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis (map), connected directly by Highway 7, and more circuitously […]

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Chart of the Day: Average US Fuel Economy since 1975

Here’s a chart that appears in a (less-than-groundbreaking) discussion about peak vehicle miles traveled, showing average US fuel economy since the 1970s. According to the page (Peak Oil News): The graph also shows that, with the second oil crisis, mileage restarted to increase, but by far not as fast as in the 1970s. There is […]

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Sunday Summary – August 17, 2014

Here’s the past week on streets.mn suitably summarized and tidily triaged for easy reading: Current events: The Green Line has generated multiple posts (and numerous comments) on streets.mn; Green Line, Green Lights adds detail about signals and signal timing to keep the train moving smoothly. Citizen engagement: “I’m Not Opposed To Development” reviews neighborhood opposition to […]

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East 26th Street – The Movie

Almost eight and half years ago I pulled my low resolution point and shoot camera out of my pocket to document a car crash scene at the intersection of East 26th Street and 1st Avenue South in Minneapolis. No need to worry–there was no blood at the scene (at least none that was picked up […]

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USA Land Use Report

The United States is widely regarded as a global economic superpower. Citation: I’m sure that sentence has appeared verbatim in Time Magazine before. But on a recent roadtrip throughout the middle and Eastern US, I found myself wondering, ‘If we’re such an economic superpower – If we’ve been plundering this land for centuries – what […]

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Westgate Station

Green Line, Green Lights

Suppose you have a train moving along (parallel to) an East-West (EW) signalized arterial. Case 1: If the signals are pre-timed, and the timings are known in advance, the train should never have to stop for the signals (aside from emergency signal pre-emptions and other edge cases). Instead, the train should be able to adjust its speed […]

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Squaring a Triangle: Rethinking Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha in Seward

For decades, the Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha area of northwest Seward has been a thorny area, confusing for cars, unsafe for pedestrians, and generally lacking in the urban amenities residents of most Minneapolis neighborhoods desire. Though the area has had an LRT station on the blue line for 10 years now, little has changed where the three streets […]

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Pick Up an Orange Flag and Cross a Street!

Pick up an orange flag and cross a street. That’s how revolutions get started. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. After injuries and deaths on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, pedestrians are fighting back. Members of a Macalaster College have placed flags in buckets to aid the crossing of this busy street. However, a grumpy man on a soapbox thinks that these […]

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Chart of the Day: MSP v. US Transit Rates

Comparing transit rates for different cities and (college) towns in the United States, Minneapolis-Saint Paul is currently ranked #31 behind older East Coast cities, college towns of all stripes, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Portland/Seattle/Salt Lake. Is that where we should be? [via 538, ranked by total rides, not by per capita transit usage]   Streets.mn is […]

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3M Local Miles

3M’s Maplewood campus is a place that I have long thought has one of the best opportunities in Minnesota for employee bicycling. The 12,000 employees at the 28 building campus account for a significant number of extremely short trips by car each and every day. Trips that just about anywhere outside of the U.S. would […]

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