This is the time of year when time passes, and year-end timeliness becomes timely. So in a bit of reminiscent navel-gazing, I wanted to crunch some numbers and share with you the Top 10 Most Read streets.mn posts of 2014.
Caveat: It’s worth noting that ‘most read’ doesn’t mean best. One of the things I love about streets.mn is how our content appeals to different people in different ways. These posts tended to be timely, controversial, or visually appealing. But there are so many posts that get far less traffic that are well worth reading.
One reason that 2014 was a banner year is that banners and logos are exciting. Here we did an anonymous interview with a real life graphic designer about different city logos from around the state. Woodbury gets a shoutout in the comments for being the most suggestive (by far). I’m hoping to do a second post like this in the future. (15 comments.)
Speaking of design, this post was simply a link to an alternative transit map made by graphic Kyril Negoda, along with some commentary on why it’s a superior transit map to other versions. Prints are available! (28 comments.)
A terriffic post by regular writer Walker Angell about the difference between commuting on a bike and simply riding a bike. This raises a lot of fundamental questions about bicycle planning policy, and draws on Walker’s rich well of bicycling experience from around the globe. (The answer to this question remains unsettled, by the way). (57 comments.)
This post, written by regular writer Scott Shaffer, was incredibly timely. It came right in the middle of a heated debate in Minneapolis over whether to preserve an older home in the Wedge neighborhood. It tells the tale of the home’s owner, who wanted to sell to a developer. Eventually the City Council approved the demolition, but this post raised a lot of key questions and really added to the collective conversation. (78 comments.)
Another amazing post with a fresh take on suburban transit priorities written by mega-commenter and former podcast guest Matt Steele. Steele dives into the economics of park and rides, and examines how deeply our transit agency subsidizes suburban buses with expensive parking lots. Well done article and the definitive look at an important issue. (36 comments.)
Another timely post: a youtube video of a man getting arrested (and tazed) by the Saint Paul Police for sitting in the skyway. This was posted right at the beginning of the story breaking in MPR and the Star Tribune, and the questions that the ubiquitous David Levinson asked helped to frame the conversation around issues of race and public space. (99 comments.)
Long-time streets.mn writer Nate Hood wrote this studied analysis of the economics of development in second-ring (non-grid, post 1970) suburbia by looking at a few examples in Minnetonka and elsewhere. This is a great post that really connects the dots between specific development debates and the big picture “identity crisis” in many parts of our metro areas. (41 comments.)
I wrote this melodramatic post after a kid was put into a coma following a predictable crash on a street near my old neighborhood. Dangerous road designs in urban areas are my biggest pet peeve, and I tried to lay out the case against four-lane undivided roads. Many of our streets are designed like this! (124 comments.)
About a month after it opened, new writer David Markle wrote this lengthy analysis of the Green Line’s design and implementation. Basically, this is the definitive case against the light rail project. Unlike many other critiques, backs up most assertions with a bunch of data. This post started a bunch of debates about light rail in general, and the Green Line in particular. (103 comments.)
Our most-widely read post was this one by regular writer (and Snark Week savior) Chris Iverson. Basically, this is a dynamite unconventional take on whether or not a crowd of students in Dinkytown constitutes a “riot.” I think this post illustrates how easily the media can adopt anti-urban frames, and leads by example in showing that places like streets.mn can provide an effective antidote. Great and timely post! (56 comments.)
Honorable mentions: TCF Bank to Leave Minneapolis for Sad Warehouse, Would the Minneapolis of Today Oppose Construction of the IDS Center, Vulnerable Road User Protection Laws, and Imagine an Ayd Mill Linear Park.
Finally: It’s also worth noting that, though most post traffic occurs in the first week, sometimes post views trickle in months later. That means that this list is weighted towards posts written earlier in the year. Thus, we must give shout outs to the most widely read posts of the last quarter, which include Density Without Mixed-Use Baffles Me, Boring Public a Culprit in Loss of Treasured Businesses, The Curious Case of Luxury Student Housing, and Soccer as Political Football.
An amazing list. Great job everybody!