The Empire Strikes Back, or ‘One Way to Deal with a Desire Line’ Redux.

In September of 2014, I wrote One Way to Deal With a Desire Line, describing the University of Minnesota’s attempt to deal with a desire line by planting a tree in the middle and placing concrete curbs to reroute traffic, costing pedestrians several seconds a day each. That tree died, as documented in A Tree Dies in Minneapolis, or ‘One Way to Deal with a Desire Line’ Revisited.

McNamara Tree with rope barrier

McNamara Tree with rope barrier

Like the King of Swamp Castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail whose castle sank into the swamp, the University has planted another tree. But this time, it is reinforced, with an almost invisible rope line.

That will teach pesky pedestrians trying to get an education and reach classes on-time to take the straight line path that used to be there but was changed because someone once saw a bicycle on the Scholars Walk.


[I know “Empire” was the 2nd movie in the original trilogy, and this is the third post in a series. But unless I want to make the University the hero in this saga, I can’t make an Episode VI reference yet.]


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5 Responses to The Empire Strikes Back, or ‘One Way to Deal with a Desire Line’ Redux.

  1. Eric Anondson
    Eric Anondson October 12, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    All the work and money being spent on bending humans to the will and ego of authority.

    • Nathanael November 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

      Complete brain-damaged idiocy… but this is typical of university administrations.

      I’ve met lots of smart university professors. *But they don’t run universities*. Universities are typically run by congenital idiots, known as “Presidents”.

  2. Sean Hayford Oleary
    Sean Hayford Oleary October 12, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    I noticed a similar barrier in the planted median at the community college in Brainerd and the apartments across the street. At least in that case, I think the intent is to “channelize” pedestrians to the marked/designated crossing point of this moderately busy street (College Dr).

    Not sure there’s even that much defense here, except a desire to follow the original planting plan, no matter what.

  3. brad October 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

    next episode: rope gets replaced by chain?

    • urb October 13, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      [SPOILER] chain is destroyed by bolt cutters.