Sunday Summary – April 13, 2014 writers cover a lot of ground each week from quick facts and small observations to posts which ask big questions about policy and projects.  Here’s this week’s roundup:

Big Picture – Risk management: Or, what we highlight about safety and modes of transportation is illuminating and important.  Lessons from the 2011 Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts points to cars as a leading cause of death (and car dependency as a significant public health issue).  On the flip side, Vulnerable Road User Protection Laws highlights a bill introduced in the Minnesota legislature creating a gross misdemeanor for seriously injuring or killing a vulnerable road user while in violation of a traffic law or while driving carelessly or recklessly (not strict liability, but moving slightly closer).

Big Picture – Equity: Two posts highlight equity in development.  Is Mayor Hodges the Wonder Woman of Urbanism? wonders directly whether Mayor Hodges’ will lead Minneapolis to development decisions for the greater good. Diagonals approaches equity more indirectly using the proposed diagonal LRT routes to highlight a transit trade-off: should the routes provide service for suburban commuters to get from outside the city to the center or serve Minneapolis residents in getting around town?

Bicycles: St Paul Bicycle Plan: Completing The Local Mile follows up on St Paul Bicycle Plan: Good enough? by proposing strategic street grid interruptions to calm traffic across a neighborhood.  This is the comment winner of the week with input about design details as well as questioning the strategy.  More bicycling in Top Three Problems with MPR’s @MNToday Tweet, and the Big Thing They Did Right

Videos and visuals:  The Future of Freeway Expansions is a “what if” picture of freeway (over)expansion, while What will people do instead of driving? continues the driving economics videos by considering how to reduce car traffic with a couple of simple changes.  The Friday Photo – Scale looks at the more fine-grained scale of older development, while the Sunday Sketch meets sketching architects and continues to help us look carefully at the city, its buildings, streets and people.  In Charts of the Day this week, 3 charts continue last week’s charts highlighting pieces of MnDOT’s Annual Transportation Performance Report:  Ride QualityCompliance with ADA Requirements, and System Ownership.  The other two charts compare projected ridership and capital costs for “small starts” BRT projects and LRT: 2030 Ridership, BRT and LRT  and Capital costs, BRT and LRT.

Other stuff:  Lost Neighborhoods and Forgotten Archives highlights projects from Minneapolis’ history, but also the Minneapolis City Archives as a repository of development and redevelopment history. Spring Cleaning and Recycling highlights textile recycling in addition to the more typical stuff.  If Potholes Could Talk, Would We Understand Them? We might hear them tell us about the cracks in the system – both the policy problems and the actual holes (but they’re also an effective traffic calming device). The Enormity of the Hennepin-Lyndale Spaghetti Bowl has photos to show just how much public land is used to speed up car movement through the city.

Hit the streets with a sketchbook – you can enjoy the warm weather with a great reason to slow down and look hard at your city (cameras allowed if you review, edit and think about your images later).



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