Greater Minnesota news: Can the Medical Center make Rochester a Real Destination? considers Rochester’s Destination Medical Center initiative and wonders what would make Rochester somewhere to visit as well as a great place to live and work. On the way to Rochester on US 52, the diverging diamond interchange intended to serve the famously undeveloped Elk Run Business Park has one streets.mn writer posting In Defense of the Elk Run Interchange. Commenters weigh the value of limiting access to US 52 against the cost of the project.
Instant information: It’s been a great week for charts, maps and photos.
- Photos: Although the titles suggest these posts are simply photos, there’s more packed in here. Friday Photo: A Norway House is not a Norway Home is photos, story and critique of the Norway House redevelopment project. At the other end of the week, Monday Photo: Paris vs. Dallas and Mankato photo-contrasts cities and urban form (and invites additional mash-ups). From contrasting different places, we can also contrast different times in the same place Then & Now: University of Minnesota. Skyways: What Lies Beneath documents some street level indoor passages around Minneapolis showing it is possible to get out of the (soon to be nasty) wind without escalators.
- Charts and maps: We got more charts with Federal Highway Trust Fund Projections, Transit vs. Highway Spending (Different Gov’t Levels), Intergovernmental Transportation Funding Flows and Road Funding Sources at Different Governmental Scales. And more maps: Map of the Day: Centerline Striping Requirements in Minneapolis and Map Monday: Population Change 2000 – 2010.
- And video: Have fun with Dancewalk! The Better Way to Cross Snelling Avenue or any street with pedestrian signals. You can also go to Belgium and follow bike messengers in one of Europe’s car-dominated cities with Brussels Express.
Bikes and pedestrians. Podcast #71: Saint Paul Meets Copenhagen with Amy Brendmoen and Jessica Treat talks with St. Paul Councilperson Brendmoen and non-motorized transportation advocate Jessica Treat about their recent trip to Copenhagen to learn about biking and walking focused urban design. Small Suburban Sidewalk Successes (and Obstacles) finds improvements in Twin Cities suburbs, but also hears the neighbors’ complaints noting “if St. Louis Park, a first ring suburb with a street grid, can generate that kind of opposition, imagine what it must be like farther out.” Writers’ Round-up: Advisory Bike Lanes provides analysis, criticism and specific examples of advisory bike lanes around the Twin Cities, but also reveals how streets.mn writers collaborate by Google group/email to think together about issues. The comment section continues the group discussion in much the same vein. One Way to Deal With a Desire Line on the University of Minnesota campus, but not necessarily the best way for enabling efficient pedestrian routes.
Transit: streets.mn writers have posted many posts about the Green Line since it opened June 14, 2014 including considering the signal timing from a variety of perspectives from theoretical to specific, but most of the discussion has been about the St. Paul section. This week, streets.mn tackles Improving LRT Signal Timing in Downtown Minneapolis with continued discussion in the comments. We hope someone at Metro Transit reads streets.mn.
Planning and zoning department: Non-Conforming Use Permits and the Schmidt Self-Storage Facility uses the storage facility example to ask questions about how government (both planning commissions and elected officials) should determine highest and best (or at least higher and better) uses for particular projects.
Twin Cities Marathon runners take over many streets in Minneapolis and St. Paul this morning. If you’re not running, you could get out on the streets and watch the marathon while also considering urban design, streets, public space and some of the other topics we write about here (you can do this while you’re running, too, with a unique middle of the road perspective). Have a great week and hope for snow!