The Twin Cities's Worst Planning Mistakes

Tired of all those year end "Best of" lists? This should cleanse your palate. Marlys Harris has gathered a list of the nine worst decisions made by planners in the history of the Twin Cities.
December 20, 2012, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Eric Kilby

You don't have to be a resident of Minneapolis or St. Paul to gather that building a street-killing network of skyways throughout your downtown may not have been the smartest decision in hindsight. Harris has assmebled a list of eight other "planning moves" that she deems the worst in Twin Cities history. Some entries may surprise, such as her condemnation of the power of neighborhood groups in Minneapolis, who she says, "have managed to block a number of worthy projects."

Other faux pas include the elimination of 524 miles of electric trolley lines, which the Twin Cities are now spending billions to replace with light rail, and "the slicing of downtown St. Paul in two" by the contruction of Interstate 94. "'Separating downtown from the Capitol was obviously a terrible decision,' said Mayor Chris Coleman at a meeting of the Urban Land Institute a couple of months ago. Those lousy decisions, he added, can be with us for 100 years."

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Published on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in MinnPost
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