Sunday Summary – February 15, 2015

sunday-summary-logoHere’s the week’s news beautifully gift boxed like yesterday’s Valentines candy.  You can select only your favorite chocolate covered cherries or sample each and every morsel. assumes no liability for your choice of what you thought was the caramel but turned out to be the fruit cream.

North By Midwest is a long post starting from recent discussions about Minnesota as “North” rather than “Midwest” and unpacking how Minnesota might rebrand itself. Commenters take up the charge and recommend strategies like hosting the Olympics to showcase the state.

Development over time

Zoning’s Impact on Minneapolis Form starts with Minneapolis’ first zoning code adopted in 1924 and asks how that law (and its successors) shaped the physical form of the city (along with street cars, economics and more) and finds unmixing of uses, lower densities and other characteristics. coverage of the demolition and redevelopment of 2320 Colfax inspired  Minneapolis’ Vacant Buildings: Historic Edition which goes on to consider of other buildings which have escaped the news (but may not escape demolition) along with the deep inequality in the city.

How Minneapolis grew

How Minneapolis grew outside the 1924 lines


Transportation policy and funding

One Small Breath of Fresh Air at the DOT celebrates the Tennessee DOT Commissioner’s recognition that local land use often fails to consider transportation issues, but laments the same Commissioner did not observe how DOTs fail to consider land use with Northfield examples; comments continue to kick over Northfield’s experience. Transportation Day at the State Capitol previewed the February 12 Transportation Day of Action at the Capitol sponsored by Transit for Livable Communities and Move MN.  Move MN’s transportation funding proposal has been much discussed here on and commenters continue this debate. A Twin Cities Paving Moratorium starts from the planned expansion of the intersection of Randolph and Lexington in Saint Paul to talk about Move MN’s position and criticize the emphasis on highway expansion; commenters generally agree and add additional detail.

(No Exit) A Highway Map of the USA

Manifest pavement destiny in the US?


Building bikes and pedestrians back into the system

Three posts this week consider how to improve pedestrian and bicycle access. Improving Level of Service for Blind People starts with a consciousness-raising encounter at the Franklin and Lyndale intersection and keeps going to think about removing challenges to pedestrian safety for people with visual impairment more generally. Commenters provide additional detail about limiting driveway access in particular. Over on Hiawatha Avenue, Prioritize Pedestrians at Hiawatha Avenue calls for automatic walk signals (no beg buttons!) and testing leading pedestrian intervals at some intersections on this street (and follows up on a previous post about Hiawatha improvements). In the comments, detailed discussion continues on pedestrian sensors, signal timing, getting rid of right turn on red and other insights specific to Hiawatha. Looking at bike and pedestrian facilities on Ramsay County roads, Every Road For Every Person presents designs for streets of different types which would provide comfortable walking and cycling with discussion continuing in the comments

Crossing Hiawatha

Crossing Hiawatha

Audiovisual department

There’s only one Chart of the Day: Per Capita VMT over Time by State this week, but other highly visual offerings include the Friday Photo: Residential Storefronts (a visual response to this recent post on Grand Avenue) and Junctions with History, another summer bike tour of Saint Paul (others are here) from Rondo through downtown to the West Side Flats (with current and historical photos of the route).

But we’ve got double podcasts this week instead.  Podcast #83 – Minneapolis’s Milwaukee Avenue with Bob Roscoe author of  Milwaukee Avenue: Community Renewal in Minneapolis chronicling his work in the Seward neighborhood to save homes from urban renewal and convert the street to a pedestrian thoroughfare in the 1970s. Podcast #82 – The Minnesota Transportation Picture with Scott Dibble talks transportation finance with the Minneapolis state senator who chairs the Senate Transportation and Public Safety committee as well as the Transportation and Public Safety Budget Subdivision of the Finance Committee.

Finally, the video Why We Bike from the We Bicycle St. Paul series from Saint Paul Women on Bikes talks to average people about why they like to ride their bikes and what they need to make biking in Saint Paul easier.

Tomorrow is Presidents’ Day and, in addition to Presidents Washington and Lincoln whose birthdays inspired this holiday, we at remember Presidents Dwight Eisenhower for the Interstate Highway System and Lyndon Johnson for signing the federal Fair Housing Act (and resolve to learn more land use and transportation history before next Presidents’ Day). Have a great week!

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