Sunday Summary – March 29, 2014

sunday-summary-logoThe Sunday Summary is being written on Saturday while the summarizer travels from the streets of Jyväskylä, Finland (where there has been no winter whatsoever) back to the streets of Minnesota (where there is all of Finland’s winter in addition to the usual season); late-breaking posts will get wrapped up next week.

Big ideas

Continuing threads: In the last couple of weeks, writers have posted frequently about issues related to infill, redevelopment, preservation, and equity; this week adds a couple more posts to this thread (and very active comments about policy and particular cases).  Preserving Rental Affordability in the Infill Era in the Wedge neighborhood, but also about whether renters are represented in the debates about development, gentrification, and preservation.  In Favor of the Southwest Moratorium justifies the home building (and teardown) moratorium as a way to prevent replacing small single-family homes with bigger single-family homes in the hopes of buying time to work toward better regulation for more thoughtful urbanism.   West River Commons (Still) Sets a High Bar for Minneapolis celebrates a particular development by a developer not much loved by comment writers and offers a counterpoint to the generally critical tone of most posts.

Big questions asked this week: Why Are We Killing Our Children with Cars? and why, despite reducing traffic fatalities, do we still lag so far behind some European nations?  Does Less Parking Space Mean More Incentive to Walk? asks first whether the winter parking restrictions spark more walking and generalizes to other parking reductions from light rail.

The long winter continues (to be physically and intellectually challenging) with Ice, Mud, or Puddle! asks why are “Spring” sidewalks so treacherous when the driving lanes are usually dry (plus adds a couple of suggestions for change. On the same theme Next years resolution on ice exhorts us all to clear snow and ice from sidewalks next winter as a basic safety and transportation issue, not a special interest issue.  Six Road Design Lessons from a Long Winter  Or, how snow redesigns streets and shows us the space is more flexible and adaptable than traffic engineers often tell us it is.

Particular places and projects:  Grand Avenue and Syndicate Intersection Needs Improvement highlighted by by a recent bike/car collision.  Making I-94 Better: Or Toward 3-D Urbanism points toward freeway caps, but also gives a short history of I-94 and why it is how and where it is  Then and Now: Lyndale & Hennepin gives a photo tour of the history of this intersection now being redesigned and rebuilt. Light rail continues to generate posts:  Can We Kill Two Birds with One Stone when it Comes to Light Rail Planning? – merge the Southwest Line project with the planned Bottineau Line project? Chart of the Day – Southwest LRT Routing provides mapping alternatives (and much discussions) and the Friday Photo illustrates one bit of LRT planning that makes us go “hmmmm.”

Short stuff:  Turning Over a New Leaf – or – A cycling advocate buys a new car is really about the electric-car selling (and upselling) and buying process. Last Week in MPLS episode 8 podcast talks about food, books, collisions and more.  “The mixture of races in this district is detrimental”: North Minneapolis in the 1920s  presents a diagram from the Women’s Cooperative Alliance, a group which mapped North Mineapolis as part of efforts to “identify and eradicate conditions contributing to juvenile delinquency.  And, now that you’re tired of winter and the sidewalks are treacherous, why not go to the theater with the kids and see Peter Pan by the Morris Park Players?

After you clear the ice and slush from your sidewalk, go vote for as best local blog (or vote with your wallet) and then get out and enjoy the streets. 


Betsey Buckheit

About Betsey Buckheit

Betsey rides her pretty blue city bike, walks her energetic black dogs, and agitates for more thoughtful, long-range decision-making in Northfield, MN. You can follow her blog at