Idea Exchange - the CDG blog

Growing the actual use, customs and habits of walking and biking in a community requires a comprehensive approach combining on-the-ground improvements ("infrastructure") with a wide range of supportive social, educational and safety campaigns (non-infrastructure or “programs” measures).

The "6Es" is the name given to a useful framework that can be used to organize such a comprehensive set of initiatives. Each of the six Es corresponds with one of the areas where work and energy must be directed for the plan's overall success:

It’s 2018 and winter is back with a vengeance. As the cold seems to have settled in for the long winter haul, many people have begun their yearly hibernation routines. But as those who love winter will tell you, the drop in temperature doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Getting outside and staying active throughout the winter is important for mental, physical and environmental health. Whether you’re a diehard biker or just looking to make the most of your winter, consider participating in some of these fun events happening locally, nationally and internationally in the new year.

CDG recently completed a tactical urbanism pilot project in the City of Red Wing, MN. The project re-imagined the well-traveled intersection of Old West Main St and Jackson St as a pedestrian-oriented space with bump outs, colorful crosswalks, a four-way stop sign, and pop-up activities. As the consultant on this project, CDG guided overall intersection design, programming recommendations, engagement materials, and the processing of community feedback. Implementing this pilot included a few notable lessons:

This past Friday CDG hosted an enriching water-themed Lunch-and-Learn to cap off Infrastructure Week. The presentation featured two field experts: Matt Kumka of Barr Engineering and Marcus Bush of the Metropolitan Council. Matt presented on infrastructure innovations that creatively and responsibly deal with water runoff. Marcus focused on the efforts of the Met Council's Environmental Services department to most efficiently process water and accommodate increased regional growth.

Key presentation takeaways:

Small towns across the country are looking to grow at the same time as they are attempting to preserve their unique character. How can thoughtful planning strike a balance between these two basic principles: protect and prosper?


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 27 this year and has had a huge impact on not only those living with disabilities, but also their families and friends. The benefits of ADA design extend beyond those with a disability to also include the elderly, parents with strollers, or transit passengers carrying heavy luggage, among others.

How do we plan and implement infrastructure that provides safe service to all forms of pedestrian traffic?

CDG has been working with This Inclusive Life to plan routes for accessibility walks in the Twin Cities.