North Star Highways

Welcome to North Star Highways, dedicated to roadgeekery from Minnesota, the North Star State.

Abandoned Highways

Abandoned Highways

Abandoned Bridges

The Holmes Street Bridge (Shakopee)

A New Life for the Old Cedar Bridge

The Rock Island Swing Bridge (JAR Bridge)

Bridges, Highways, and Streets

In Defense of the Elk Run Interchange

The New Hastings Bridge Construction Photos

Highway Odds and Ends

Minnesota’s 10 Busiest Intersections

A New Life for the Old Cedar Bridge

St Croix Crossing (Stillwater Bridge) Construction Photos Part I

St Croix Crossing (Stillwater Bridge) Construction Photos Part II

The Stillwater Bridge Story Part 1: The Backstory Behind the Bridge

The Stillwater Bridge Story Part 2: Design Continues and the Future of Downtown Stillwater

The Twin Cities Future Highway Map?

Yes, We Can Build Our Way Out of Congestion!

Bloomington, Suburbia, and Future Cars

A Different Kind of Subsidy

Time for a Portland Ave for All People

Bloomington’s Four Lane Death Roads

Bloomington’s Oxboro Neighborhood

The Case of Bloomington’s Disappearing Streetlights

In Defense of a Paved, Accessible Minnesota Valley State Trail

A New Life for the Old Cedar Bridge

Why Aren’t We Building Affordable Houses Anymore?

Will Self-Driving Car Solve Congestion?


The 2015 “Bicycles on the Freeway” Incidents

Bicycle Helmet Use in Minneapolis and Suburbs 2015-2016.

Highway Phototours and Highway Scenes

Avenue of Pines Scenic Byway Phototour

Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway Phototour

Minnesota’s Northwest Angle

Rushing Rapids Parkways Scenic Byway Phototour

US Highway 14, New Ulm to Rochester Phototour


Minnesota’s Officially Named Highway Signs

Minnesota’s Scenic Byway and Unofficially Named Highway Signs

Some Sign and Signal Fails

Warrants and Justifications for Highway Signs


The Case of Bloomington’s Disappearing Streetlights

The History of Overhead Streetlights and a Spotter’s Guide to Cobraheads

Streetlight Poles, Lamps, and Control Gear

Traffic Signals

The Case of the Disappearing Crosswalks

Common Questions About Traffic Signals

A Gallery of Traffic Signal Lenses and LEDs

A History of  Vehicle Signals

A History of Pedestrian Signals

How Traffic Signal Controllers Work, Part 1, and Overveiew of Electromechanical and Electronic Controllers

How Traffic Signal Controllers Work, Part 2: Programming a Modern Controller and a Look at Their Limitations

Left Turns, The Flashing Yellow Arrow, and the Yellow Trap (Updated)

The Myth of the Dangerous Right Turn On Red

A Spotter’s Guide to Traffic Signals

Traffic Signals Abroad

Traffic Signal Timing and Phasing

Warrants For Traffic Signals

Legal Information:
Images with the credit “Minnesota Historical Society” are their property and used by permission. The images are for personal educational research use only and may not, under any circumstances, be copied or printed for commercial or for-profit use. I have a signed permission form on file for the original North Star Highways site, and it is my believe that as a continuation permission still applies.

Certain articles and photographs were licensed to under a Creative Commons license. Any revisions to the articles and any unique content to this site is Copyright 2001-2016 by me, all rights reserved.


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