Where the sidewalk ends: Walkability in Saint Paul


By Alyssa Heitfeld and Sarah Richman

As spring approaches, Minnesotans celebrate shedding their overcoats by embracing the outdoors. Though cold months can make it harder people to get outside,, many residents of Saint Paul spend a significant amount of time outside year round.

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Changing minds and behavior: finding safety for Saint Paul streets

Over the years, the city of Saint Paul and neighborhood groups have outfitted local crosswalks with stoplights, crossing lights and safety flags in order to slow the flow of traffic for pedestrians and bicyclists. As bicyclist and pedestrian accidents continue, residents ask what more can be done to share the roads and increase the city’s walkability.

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By the numbers: Pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Saint Paul


By Meg Britton-Mehlisch and Eden Teller

If you’re walking on East 7th Street in downtown Saint Paul, be sure to wear your reflectors: That avenue and the two parallel streets — 10th and 6th — have had the most pedestrian accidents so far in 2016. As a city with a Walk Score of 56 out of 100 (a “somewhat walkable” rating, according to a website that grades cities around the world on walkability) and a bike score of 62 (“some bike infrastructure”), Saint Paul’s pedestrian- and bike-related accident record shows room for improvement. Continue reading

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Making Room at the Table: St. Paul’s Dorothy Day Center Expands

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Construction is in progress at the Dorothy Day Center site. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities)

When a lunchtime crowd of 50 becomes a lunchtime crowd of 350 or 400, something has to change. St. Paul’s Dorothy Day Center, under the stewardship of Catholic Charities, has been a community fixture since 1980. It started as a soup kitchen for the homeless, but its population and its services have grown. Continue reading

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Bike lanes split opinions and street on Cleveland


Ristorante Luci and Sportsmens’ Barbers: longtime businesses on Cleveland Avenue that oppose the bike lanes due to loss of street parking. Photo courtesy of Alexandra McLaughlin.

By Alexandra McLaughlin

In April 2015, when Saint Paul Public Works proposed implementing bike lanes on Cleveland Avenue between St. Anthony Avenue and Highland Parkway, the announcement stirred enough controversy to delay the project for several months. The project will restripe the roadway to add bicycle lanes and eliminate some street parking. After a series of public open houses and community meetings, the City Council voted last month to move forward with the bike lanes. Construction on the stretch of Cleveland between St. Anthony and Highland begins in 2016. Bike lanes on Cleveland between University Avenue and St. Anthony Avenue are proposed for implementation at a later date as part of a street resurfacing project. Continue reading

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Wheels of change

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Photo by VeloTraffic, published under Wikipedia Commons 

By Alyssa Heitfeld and Lauren Mayer

Bike activists have made the Twin Cities one of the more bike friendly metropolitan areas in the United States, fostering bike infrastructure creation and ideological shifts about the utility of bikes.

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Little Free Libraries: A community network

A Little Free Library on Laurel Street. The book lending system allows passersby to borrow books freely. Photo: Eden Teller

The Janisch’s library on Laurel Street. The book lending system allows passersby to borrow books freely. Photo: Eden Teller

Little Free Libraries abound in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood. Jeff and Bernadette Janisch, residents of Laurel Street in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, have had their library for four years.The couple has been delighted by the addition to their yard. According to Jeff, the Little Free Library idea was “the best thing in the neighborhood in a while.”

The Janisch Little Free Library is filled by a variety of genres, anything from novels and mysteries to nonfiction and the occasional CD. The library, which Jeff  built to resemble a log cabin, is dedicated to Bernadette’s mother, a librarian.

“We restock it all the time,” Jeff said. “It’s used a lot by kids.” Continue reading

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Ready, set, walk St. Paul

Creative Commons 2006 Mpls marathon

Photo by Matt Olson, published under Creative Commons license.

This series of articles focuses on walkability and bikeability in St. Paul, MN. Walkability and bikeability describe how friendly an area is for walking and biking. From bike lanes to pedestrian safety, we’re keeping you two steps ahead on St. Paul walkability and bikeability.

Articles include:

And coming up:

  • Waving a flag for safety
  • Calming the traffic
  • Where the sidewalk ends: Walkability in St. Paul



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How not to get hit by a car in St. Paul

By Alexandra McLaughlin and Alyssa Heitfeld

More and more people are trading car keys for bike helmets, as alternative transportation like walking and biking gain speed in St. Paul. According to Bike Walk Twin Cities, “In the Minneapolis area, walking increased an estimated 14 percent and bicycling increased an estimated 60 percent between 2007 and 2013. These increases equate to an estimated 2.8 and 9.5 percent average annual growth rates for walking and bicycling, respectively.” However, making the move from driving to biking can unsettle even the most courageous commuters.

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Making it official: Mac gets Bike Friendly


A Macalester College bike rack outside of the Campus Center. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Heitfeld.

By Lauren Mayer

After taking Environmental Studies Professor Margot Higgins’s Cycling The Urban Landscape last semester, Macalester students Eleanor Hohulin ’19 and Marlee Yost-Wolff ’19 decided to develop an independent study to get Macalester Bicycle Friendly Certified.

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