Hmong youth engaged in the North Minneapolis Greenway

"Greenway yog ab tsi?", or "What is a greenway?" in the Hmong language, is a question that has been asked more than 100 times of North Minneapolis community members in and near Hmong International Academy by middle school students of color in the YMCA Beacons Minneapolis program at Hmong International Academy (HIA) – a Minneapolis Public School in the Jordan Neighborhood of North Minneapolis.

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Video: Express Bike Shop

Minnesota 2020 went to the Express Bike Shop in St. Paul to learn more about Youth Express and their apprenticeship program for young adults. Youth Express, a program of Keystone Community Services, is a program created to help young adults develop entrepreneurial skills, work ethic and leadership. Keys Stone's investment to Youth Express helps provide a paid employment opportunity for youth who are joining the work force or those who may have already had a little work history.

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One way to deal with a desire line

Soon enough it will be Winter. Again a landscape covered with white powdery snow will reveal where travelers want to go. The first figure is an aerial shot of the former environment around the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus. The second figure is in front of (behind) McNamara . Though there is a sidewalk just on the right of this image, pedestrians prefer the straight line path between the Scholars Walk and the diagonal path across Walnut from Beacon Street to the intersection of Oak Street and Washington Avenue. And why shouldn’t they? It’s cold outside. The extra few feet (extra few seconds) are not worth it, even for a cleared path.

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Oil train safety, passenger train timeliness get legislative hearing

An increase in the amount of oil train traffic traveling through Minnesota to serve the fracking operations in western North Dakota has had a ripple effect on the passenger rail operations of Amtrak.

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Corporate wolves and the sharing economy

The new sharing economy masquerades as a people-to-people economy. That sounds friendlier than the corporate, profit-driven economy. Take a second look, though, and this new sharing economy turns out to be the old corporate wolf in a new internet fleece.

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Building places for people

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “transit oriented development” and being “pedestrian friendly” with a new senior apartment building under construction at Lake Street and Hiawatha overlooking the train platform, a visit from Gil Penalosa back in May to talk about making that whole area around the train station walkable, and negotiations moving forward around development of the Adult Basic Education site at 2225 East Lake Street. You might have heard neighbors talk about how important development along Lake Street be “transit oriented” and “pedestrian friendly,” but you might have wondered: what does that mean anyway?

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Parking lot views can build better cities

For most Minnesotans, a trip to the mall means getting in the car, driving through traffic, and navigating a crowded parking lot before even stepping into a store. But for residents who are moving into the new luxury apartments at One Southdale Place, a mall is just a short walk across the parking lot. These structures promote high-density, pedestrian friendly cities that strengthen community development.

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Improving LRT signal timing in Downtown Minneapolis

Although St. Paul’s traffic signals deserve most of the blame for slowing the Green Line, there’s room for improvement in Minneapolis as well. To be fair, Minneapolis deserves praise for its signal timing through the University of Minnesota campus, where trains are seldom delayed. They’ve also established a very good progression for westbound trains from the city limits to the Prospect Park Station, including the right turn from University Avenue onto 29th Avenue SE.

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Dancing for safety at the street corner

The launch of the light rail Green Line has spurred an increase of 20 to 25 percent in pedestrian traffic at the downtown Minneapolis Nicollet Mall station where Blue Line trains have stopped for years, according to a new study. Unlike its predecessor, the new line traverses its entire route through the heart of the Twin Cities, an area particularly rich in vehicle, bicycle and walking traffic.

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Infrastructure opportunists and the Kellogg Bridge

Earlier this week, news surfaced that the Kellogg Ave-3rd Street bridge connecting Lowertown and Dayton’s Bluff is structurally deficient. The bridge, built in 1982 by MnDOT, has four vehicle lanes, the outer two largely supported by concrete cantilevers with pier supports built in the middle.

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