It’s been a while since I’ve written about any urban design stuff. Part of it is because I’ve realized that real change is never sweeping, it is incremental, which can be incredibly frustrating. But I’ve learned to to have patience, as long as things look like they’re heading in the right direction. Also, as part of Fridley’s Environmental Quality and Energy Commission (EQEC), I’ve seen several of the cities’ initiatives first hand, and and I feel like they are generally heading in the right direction.

It’s Happening!

I wrote about the idea of a road diet on Mississippi St. over 6 years ago. I told myself that if it ever happened, I had done my job. And as it stands, here we are:

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Before I get into any questions like “What the heck is a split phase intersection and why would you have a favorite?” Let me give you some back-story… I’ve been attending a series of workshops revolving around State Highways 65 & 47.

I’ve got several opinions about these roads and their intersections, and one very loud opinion that we don’t need both to act as expressways, we just need one.

Luckily, I learned at the meetings that my fellow residents share the same opinions! I was delighted at the first two meetings. Do I think MnDOT will actually listen? Probably not, but that’s when we’ll sick Mayor Lund on them 🐕

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Waste Management Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Minneapolis, colloquially referred to as a “Murf.” Simply put, this is the type of place all of your recycling goes to be processed. This particular facility is where recycling from Columbia Heights goes (and other cities that contract through Waste Management). Fridley’s recycling goes to a similar type of murf facility owned by Republic Services in Inver Grove Heights.

The trip was enlightening and I wish everyone could see it in action. If you can’t make it, here are the cliff’s notes.

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This is a response to my position (and the resultant comments) on 61st Ave in Fridley and the crash that happened there in November, 2017. As politics seem to go these days I was labeled as “a liberal taking advantage of the tragedy to get bike lanes added.” So let’s talk about local politics… there is no need for partisan rhetoric in regards to local issues. I won’t even use the phrase bi-partisan because “bi” means two and putting people entirely into one of two different boxes is both unfair and unreasonable. Local politics do not cover divisive issues like health care, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc. We’re talking about roads and schools, parks and plows.

But to placate John, let’s talk about a conservative approach to the problem with 61st by visiting my favorite street in Fridley, Oakwood Manor. If you ever want to visit either and compare, here they both are on a map:

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I thought about posting this to streets.mn as part of their Bike To Work Week series. But I’m going to go beyond their editorial policy and name names. These terrible drivers need to be outed to their neighbors and peers. So here it is, my own Bike To Work Week Wall of Shame.

Normally my commute just consists of me walking down the stairs to my office.

But there were plenty of other trips to be taken during Bike to Work Week that I consider commutes – whether they were to school, the grocery store, or piano lessons. Here are some of the speed bumps I encountered on the way.

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