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Bjorn Awel

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commenter for
2 years 8 weeks

Recent Comments

1) many of the one-story buildings are already filled with national chains so redevelopment is not an issue there
2) other than a few buildings I don't see the need. Most of the one-story buildings also have been so retrofitted that they really lack any character.
I hope the city finds a way to balance allowing certain buildings good protection but not prevent future redevelopment like the ones mentioned in the article.

Posted on 11/07/14 at 12:48 pm in response to House Republicans to the Twin Cities: It's not about you

I don't think its unreasonable to say that the Dems have neglected some rural needs, especially in the area of transportation and ag. There should be a rural legislator in charge of the Ag finance committee. And you can't just talk about metro needs in transportation, there are serious safety and repair/conditions that need to be addressed on rural roads, not even considering new roads. There are also economic issues of moving goods to market (to the city whose economy is partly due to the...

Posted on 07/09/14 at 09:19 am in response to Everything you've always wanted to know about crosswalks

the HAWK signal will help a lot, has a good track record.

It isn't just about enforcement, the fact is that vehicles are traveling too fast, as the Toole design folks point out. If you want to reduce crashes, then reduce speeds. You can do so through a number of speed reduction measures that change the design of the road but do not negatively impact traffic. If anything, allowing cars to travel at a more consistent speed timed to the lights can help flow, just at speeds safer for...

Posted on 04/25/14 at 06:24 pm in response to As its people prosper, the Minnesota town of Hector hollows out

agreed, would be a lot easier to have a healthy downtown hector with higher gas prices preventing people from driving to hutch. walmart is not the only reason these things happen.

Posted on 04/02/14 at 07:58 am in response to Urban development: mixed use, mixed results?

Interesting how several of the observations in the article are based on driving by places. Maybe people in the cities just need better mass transit so they are not driving everywhere, or better bicycling conditions on key retail corridors, and lastly, how about improving pedestrian conditions and calming traffic. I also think this piece is slightly without fact - there is a lot of anecdote here. If the retail doesn't come, the place can also be used for small offices or other uses other than...

Posted on 03/17/14 at 11:59 am in response to Teardown battle in Minneapolis: A city at war with itself

Fully agree with Matt B. Two points to repeat/add:
1) anecdotal info is not fact. If a 2 bedroom home is replaced by 4 bedroom home there presumably will be some density increase. Example: a young family of 3 may live in the former but a family of 4 or 5 may live in the latter. I think this is the point many are making -- if they are going to live in the city they need more space for their families. Shouldn't Minneapolis want more families -- instead of being one of the top ten cities...

Posted on 02/07/14 at 03:06 pm in response to Don't tear down the skyways!

It really is amazing to see how much the opposition to Sam's post is based on "its cold outside and people won't cross the street in January." It is clearly a wonder that Uptown or any other area in the Twin Cities survives. I feel sorry downtown Minneapolis -- whether or not you are for or against taking a few skyways down, you must admit that the streetlife sucks. When you're competing against other cities for labor, talent and business, this actually means something. So instead of saying...

Posted on 01/22/14 at 09:14 am in response to The bus stops here — and here and here and here

I'm surprised the article doesn't mention the arterial bus service upgrades the Metro Transit has explored -- and i believe a first corridor for snelling ave is in the governor's bonding list for this session.

Posted on 12/10/13 at 01:57 pm in response to Tear down those Star Tribune walls

How about saving the sandstone medallions and incorporating them into the park, or save the central facade for some kind of gateway in the park? Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland incorporated the columns from the former building that was once on the block.

There is no context to this story. Just because they have some internal system of traffic lights for pinpointing where there more urgent needs are doesn't mean the entire system is facing serious problems that put its entire implementation at risk. What does it mean to have problems with "appeals"? Claims aren't even being made and won't until 2014, so what is the actual issue they are dealing with. Just getting documents and then outlining what they say doesn't do that. Plus, its not until...