The first frosty Fall morning has dawned (at least in Northfield, MN) and we are walking more briskly, putting on our gloves at the bus stop, scraping our windshield and feeling renewed energy with the new (school) year. Streets.mn writers got to work, too and here’s what we posted this week:
Quick Looks and Listens: Two charts this week on VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) Chart of the Day: Future VMT Scenarios and Chart of the Day: Per capita VMT (commercial trucks vs. personal vehicles). Plus Saturday Photo – Fair and Balanced. Transpo Convo: George at the Bus Stop (read earlier Convo’s with Bill and Mohamed, too) continues the conversations with transit riders many of us might not have a chance to hear otherwise. Charles, Churches, and Culture – Part 2 (Part 1 is here) takes us for a ride in St Paul and shows us lively places like the Hmong Market.
Bikes, pedestrians and skateboards: We haven’t had much skateboard coverage here on streets.mn, but the shortish (8 minute) video Rollin’ With Davis Torgerson – Minneapolis, Minnesota Skateboarding helps fix this lack. Build It Properly For Isabella showcases a new People for Bikes Green Lane project campaign advocating for building bike infrastructure which works for 12-year old Isabella (see also 8-80 Cities for more thinking like this). Bicycle Infrastructure: Minneapolis vs. Saint Paul compares the two and the political and community factors at work.
Transportation efficiency: Commenters flocked to these posts this week. The Case For Quarter Mile Bus Stop Spacing considers bus stop spacing and efficiency with many comments considering specific routes in the Twin Cities as well as the larger policy. 17 Minutes, One Red Light Second At A Time thinks about how to reduce the amount of time waiting for the light to change from roundabouts to signal cycle timing; commenters weigh in on some of the strategies, especially roundabouts. How About a People Mover at the Mall of America? to link the expanded mall, IKEA and a better transit station; commenters are generally skeptical about the people mover, but there’s some good discussion about transit to/from the mall.
Policy discussions: Why did the New Markets Tax Credit Disappear? explains the now-expired tax credit program which incentivized investing in low-income communities and considers what could happen in the future. The Political Implications of Minneapolis Population Growth is a good primer on electoral math at the local level (plus maps!) which reminds us how representation depends on where we draw the lines, but also where we draw the lines shifts with population.
Minneapolis: Dreaming of Hennepin/Lyndale is less about dreams than reality; Hennepin County voted on improvements to the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck which get a favorable (if not dreamy) review. The Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck (or commons) has had much attention on streets.mn; some earlier posts are here. The Political Implications of Minneapolis Population Growth is a good primer on electoral math at the local level (plus maps!) with implications far beyond Minneapolis.
St. Paul: 2014 St. Paul Street Repairs — An Opportunity For Complete Streets takes the opportunity created by St. Paul’s decision to add $2.5 million to the streets budget for repaving the “Terrible Twenty” to advocate for a larger vision: fixing streets is the chance to implement the Complete Streets policy and improve streets for more than cars (streets.mn ran a series earlier this year on implementing and institutionalizing Complete Streets policies; here’s part 1). Charles, Churches, and Culture – Part 2 (Part 1 is here) bicycles a bit of St. Paul.
Comparing Minneapolis and St. Paul: Minneapolis is ahead now, but this could change. Bicycle Infrastructure: Minneapolis vs. Saint Paul reviews Minneapolis’ cycling successes and the political and cultural factors involved while advocating for change in St. Paul by building the team needed to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, education and enforcement (meetings are required).
There’s one more Sunday Summary before the autumnal equinox and then Rosh Hashanah, but we think it’s Fall and the new year. Time to get back to work building and enjoying great streets!