Sunday Summary – November 30, 2014

sunday-summary-logoThanksgiving distracted writers (and perhaps readers) this week, but here’s what got posted between turkey, travel, family, and football.

Big issue 1: Equity issues

Whose Streets? Our Streets considers the broader context of the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the ensuing demonstrations in Minneapolis where “we should remember the role highway infrastructure plays in dividing neighborhoods, shaping suburban residential patterns, and enforcing segregation in cities like St. Louis and our own Twin Cities.” One of this week’s charts, Housing Boom Mortgage Originations over Time gives some graphic representation of another tool of segregation, mortgages.

Big issue 2: transportation funding and tax policy

A Call for Sales Tax on Cars and Gasoline is a cross-blogging conversation begun over on The Transportationist with a post identifying the lack of general sales tax on gasoline as a hidden subsidy leading to the post proposing several revenue neutral sales tax scenarios which would tax gas, but lowering rates on other goods. Comments have started additional thinking about tax policy, sales taxes, user fees and other approaches.

Quick reads and/or looks:

Community: First Grade Thanksgiving Edition draws extended and unintended inferences from an elementary school assignment comparing indigenous Wampanoag, European immigrant/invader Plymouth Plantation, and contemporary suburban neighborhoods. Only two charts this week: Perceived Walking Distance by Land Use Type and Housing Boom Mortgage Originations over Time.

Longer looks

All About Left Turns (Traffic Signal Trivia II) is the second post about traffic signals (here’s the first) which are detailed but not trivial. Regional Infrastructure: Splitting Up an Urban Neighborhood Near You (including limiting left turns) walks (or drives) us through some of the proposed changes in the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck area (see a summary of recent posts about the bottleneck here).

Holiday architecture fun

Territ Downs asks for your help nominating buildings “which are hostile to the rest of the world” to construct the fictional community of Territ Downs. Readers have already responded enthusiastically, but there’s plenty of room in town for your favorite (pictures or links to pictures of your choices are appreciated).

Now that Thanksgiving is past, there’s no reason not to put up holiday lights which make the streets of Minnesota so delightful in the cold, dark winter nights. Have a wonderful first week of December!

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