Welcome.

Our mission is to help transform Twin Cities streets into community spaces that invite people of all ages, cultures and abilities to walk, bicycle, socialize and play.

Transit Equity Resources

Photo courtesy of ZaksSnaps on flickr.com

Policy Link’s Executive Director, Angela Glover Blackwell, puts it best, “Transportation policy is, in effect, health policy – and environmental policy, food policy, employment policy and metropolitan development policy.” (The Transportation Prescription) Read more >

Streets.mn is the New Black

This is what Streets.mn looks like.

Go check out Streets.mn. Everyone who normally posts here (except Colin) is now posting over there! It's great! No lie!

(Don't say I didn't warn you.) Read more >

The 1.2 mile blue line of cultural and financial destruction

The 1.2 mile blue line of cultural and financial destruction

One bad decision can haunt a municipality for decades.

This 1.2 mile blue line represents one of the biggest urban planning blunders in Mankato history. In fact, it probably represents upwards of a $1 billion in extra cost to the City of Mankato and taxpayers over its short 20 year existence. The line is the shortest route that connects Mankato’s Madison East Mall (built late 1960s) to the newer River Hills Mall (built early 1990s).

Instead of expanding the existing mall and using existing infrastructure in the (still) vacant land surrounding the Madison East Mall, the decision was made to sprawl out the town an extra 1.2 miles. How much financially better off would the town be if it didn’t build the additional roadways, exit ramps, water and sewerage pipes and electric lines?
Read more >

The scale of a neighborhood

The idea of a neighborhood is a malleable concept.  Everyone has a different perception of their own neighborhood's extent, and the extent can change depending on context. It can vary from the very small, such as merely counting houses immediately adjacent to your own, to quite large—perhaps miles in size.

Back in my early childhood, my sense of my own neighborhood was toward the extremely small end.  I didn't think of it extending much more than a few houses away, though an exception was the nearby park, which my mother got a decent view of from her kitchen window.  Put another way, the extent of my neighborhood was about the maximum distance at which my brother and I could hear my parents calling us home for supper in the evenings. Read more >

Union Depot Pedestrian Plaza? Or Converted Driveway?

Union Depot Driveway during preliminary construction

The Union Depot which is undergoing a major renovation and transformation back into a transit hub, with the construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail. The way in which people will be arriving to the Depot will soon begin to shift from vehicles to mass transit (predominantly light rail) Read more >

2011 Bicycling and Walking Counts

A random pedestrian on the Lake / Marshall Bridge

From Amber Collett at Bike Walk Twin Cities

More Twin Cities residents than ever are getting around by bike or on foot. Bicycling in the Twin Cities has increased by 52 percent since 2007, and walking by 18 percent. Twin Cities bicycling, in particular, experienced a sharp year-over-year increase - up 22 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The new data comes from an official count of bicyclists and pedestrians passing 42 designated locations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul on weekdays in September 2011, and comparing this data with identical counts conducted each September since 2007. The counts were conducted by volunteers, who were trained based on a federal protocol.
 
Thank you, volunteers! We could not do this you without you.   Read more >

Plus O' The Day: December 21, 2011

Christmas Tree Sidewalk Sales
Christmas trees for sale in lowertown St Paul.

One of the best things about this time of year is when certain urban sidewalks fill with spruce trees. All of a sudden the parking lot at the St Paul farmers market seems like a forest, smells wonderful, and manifests a mysterious magical quality. Pick up a tree while you walk your dog!

Valuing the Public Realm

West River Commons Plaza

Are we doing enough to create good cities and urbanism? Perhaps we need to be thinking first about the design of public space and then private development. Read more >