Off Target: The Twin Cities’ cannibalistic economic development practices

[Target's Brooklyn Park suburban corporate campus mirrors a city streetscape]

Target Corp. confirmed this week that they will be moving 2,400 employees and 1,500 contractors from downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park within the next two years into a new suburban office.

 Target will be moving a good portion of its workforce out to Brooklyn Park (with the help of a large subsidy). This move, tax subsidies and all, is yet another example of regressive local cannibalistic ”economic development” policies. This situation is the worst of both worlds – it spends taxpayer money to shift jobs (not create them) AND its shifting them to a less efficient, less centralized and less environmentally-friendly suburban office park.

Read more >

2011 – a big year for bikes with more to come in 2012

Bryant Avenue bicycle boulevard.

by Amber Collett, Bike Walk Twin Cities

It’s no secret that folks like to bike in the Twin Cities. Every year the cycling community grows –and I’m sure this year will be no exception (stay tuned for the 2011 Count Report release scheduled for Dec. 16th!) With supportive city leadership, committed advocacy organizations, and a set of dedicated funds made available through the nonmotorized transportation pilot program (called Bike Walk Twin Cities), Minneapolis has earned it’s spot as the number one city for bicycling in the nation

As I look back on the year, I can’t help but focus on the huge stride forward our city made in building out our cycling infrastructure. More than 75 miles of on-street bike lanes have been added to our network since the start of the Bike Walk Twin Cities program–this is great news!

Here is a little bit more about some of the most innovative projects that hit the pavement this year: Read more >

Streets.mn Podcast #3: Campuses, subsidies, W 7th Street with Nate Hood & Alex Bauman

State Street in downtown Madison. Img via Flickr.

Podcast #3 is complete. Access it here!

Nate Hood, Alex Bauman and I sat down yesterday evening at the Aster Café, a lovely place along the Mississippi River just across from Downtown Minneapolis. You can find Nate’s writing on his blog, Thoughts on the Urban Environment, and Alex’s writing is at Getting Around Minneapolis.

Nate, Alex, and I had three things on our agenda this week, and tried not to stray around too much. We chatted about campus design comparing the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Second, we discussed the role of government subsidies in cities, looking at a recent public private development in Mankato, and finally, we talked about the pros and cons of “greenway” style pedestrianized residential streets, thinking about the current greenway project in North Minneapolis. The conversation went a little bit long, so feel free to turn it off at any time by using the stop button on your audio device.

Enjoy! Read more >

Greenways vs. The Grid: Is Mpls' Greenways plan a good move?

A rendering of the greenway plan, via TC Greenways.

(written by Reuben Collins)

One of the more interesting aspects of the recently completed Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan is the inclusion of a long-term vision to convert some local roadways to Greenways. The master plan map lays out a network of future Greenways (most facilities we're currently referring to as Bike Boulevards are envisioned to transition to Greenways over time. Read more >

Metrodome TOD site plan includes "central park"

A sketch of the planned post-Metrodome future.

Here's an article on the 2003 land use plans on file with the city about the Metrodome site. They've planned a mixed-use TOD high density area surrounding a park and a "centennial lakes" style lake near the burdgeoning Guthrie condo area.

What do you think? Is this a pre-housing bubble plan? What might it look at in the current market? Read more >

Open space as wasted space?

This is open space?

This is “open space”- between the rear of the Super Target and the parking lot for the pancake house. It has a bike path that connects virtually no one to no where. It’s convenient if you want to bike from the Original Pancake House, behind the Target, down a quarter of a mile of big box loading docks, past the Chucky Cheese to the Office Max. Read more >

H + T Affordability Index for the Twin Cities Region

H + T affordability index for Twin Cities Region

The Twin Cities region, according to CNT, is making it clear that living in the city is much more affordable for not only housing, but transit as well. On the flip side living outside the city core housing and transit both start to exceed 45% of gross income. Read more >