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.

Peeve O' The Day: November 21, 2011

Icy Bike Lanes
Ice and slush in the bike lane along Summit Avenue

I believe in my heart, deep down, that is possible somehow, using modern technology, to figure out a way to clear bike lanes along at least one of the routes through the city.

In the meantime, I'll just ride my bicycle directly in front of cars.

What does a Dutch Biking City for 2011 look like?

The city of 's-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch) was named "Bicycle City of 2011" by the Dutch Cyclists' Union. Want to see what that's like? Take a look at the video for a good summary of approaches and treatments. Via Hembrow >

Urban infill: Local success stories

Filling in the gaps. Local urban success stories

There is a tendency while blogging to dwell on the negative. I’ve done this in the past, but I’m going to attempt to concentrate on the positives for this post. Good things do happen, and I think they should be highlighted. Read more >

Mid-week Streets News

  • 60 yr old cyclist killed while walking bike across street, on way to temple (StriB)
  • Pedestrian killed by car while crossing Franklin Ave (Strib)
  • Stillwater bridge summit (MPR); Oark Park mayor against the plan (MPR)
  • Another nice aritcle on the Stillwater Bridge debate (MPR)
  • Mpls City votes for $13.5M Downtown 35W Freeway onramp (Strib)
  • Minneapolis Vikes stadium site amenities (Minnpost)
  • Dakota Co finds $3M for the Cedar Ave BRT (PiPress)
  • Mpls passes new fine for sidewalk shoveling scofflaws (SWJournal)
  • Additional Northstar rail stop for Ramsey (Strib)
  • Demolition plans for the StP Ford Plant site (TCBJ)

Is the Peavey Plaza fountain worth saving?

The Peavey Plaza Fountain. Img. twincitiesdailyphoto.com.

One of the debates in the historic preservation community is about whether or not post-war modernist architecture is deserves the kind of "preservation" attention given to our (far more scarce) pre-war architecture.

After all, the vast majority of buildings, homes, and public spaces in the US were built since 1950. Do all these periods of architecture deserve preservation?

The Peavey Plaza fountain is a good example of this. Read more >

Integrated urban mobility systems and quality of life

An overview of Bogotá, Colombia's Transmilenio BRT, and discussion of benefits relating to travel times and quality of life for transit-dependent residents of that city.

Got any ideas / topics / comments for the first TCSP podcast?

The proposed Vikings stadium.

As part of a new jumpstart of the TC Streets for People website, I'm going to try and start a semi-regular "podcast" feature where people get together and chat about Twin Cities' urban design happenings. Nate Hood fromThoughts on the Urban Environment, and Spencer Agnew from City of Lakes Urbanism and I are going to officially tape the first episode tomorrow at 5:00, and I'd really appreciate any feedback.

The list of topics so far:

1) the Vikings stadium
2) downtown casinos
3) cities and snow

Please send questions, comments, or any interesting topics you may have! Reply to this post, email me at blindeke@gmail.com, or on twitter at @BillLindeke and we'll include your idea in our conversation. Read more >

Raised cycle tracks

Bay Street raised cycle track - photo by Dave Reid of urbanmilwaukee.com

Milwaukee has introduced the first raised cycle tracks in the Midwest on a short test segment on Bay Street.  The increased separation provided by raised cycle tracks is "more attractive to a wider range of bicyclists at all levels and ages than less separated facilities" according to the Urban Bikeway Design Guide produced by NACTO (the National Association of City Transportation Officials).

The tracks are separated from the through lanes by a 3.5" tall and 31" wide curb (salaciously named a "mountable curb") - this provides a gentle slope to warn motorists that they're venturing into cyclists' territory but also easy for cyclists to cross at will.  Milwaukee's Department of Public Works expects the gently-sloping curb to pose no problems for sweeping or plowing.

What do YOU think?  Is this type of facility better or worse than a regular bike lane?  Is it desirable to introduce raised cycle tracks to the Twin Cities?  Is it possible?

More bikes, healthier cities (and advocating with statistics)

If people used these more, we'd be healthier!

The Star Tribune ran an article recently regarding the benefits of biking more (“More bikes, healthier cities“).

I do not doubt increased rates of bicycling will make us healthier, happier, safer, less congested and less polluted. In my mind, these are self-evident. What I don’t understand is why we always need to assign seemingly arbitrary numbers to these benefits? Will biking prevent 300 deaths per year? Will it save $57 million in medical costs? Will it save $7 billion annually? Read more >

Plus O' The Day: November 2, 2011

Bike sharrows on Washington Avenue
The Washington Avenue parking / bus / bike lane.

They've striped sharrows along Washington Avenue, which is really nice if you're trying to through downtown quickly.