Sunday Summary – March 15, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoNominations are still open for land use and transportation highlights (or lowlights) of the last year to fill up the bracket in  streets.m(ad)n(ess) – Call for Nominations.  If you don’t want to participate in any bracket-inspired activities, you could always check out our new writers page and think about writing for us instead.’s is dedicated to expanding the conversation about land use and transportation issues in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota; how you can contribute?

Big stories this week

The Barriers to Small Scale Infill Development starts with one recently renovated single family house in a Minneapolis neighborhood where small apartment buildings and neighborhood-scale increases in density could or should be desirable and asks why these smaller infill projects don’t happen.  As the comment winner of the week with 60 comments (as of this writing), commenters continue the conversation with detailed discussion of property rights, density, zoning, costs, and more. Anyone interested in neighborhoods, density and factors affecting what can or does get built should read this one.

The Market and the Math to Make Passenger Rail Work considers in detail the trains, routes, and costs to make a case for including passenger rail in transportation system improvements. Commenters dive into reviewing the math, considering alternatives and carrying on a robust conversation about rail.

Getting to the Green Line and Beyond: Access for All follows up on last week’s Seen Through the Lens of a Wheelchair User by responding to comments to that post with an additional post.  Questions were asked about snow removal, disfunctional elevators at transit stations, and places where additional work is needed.  Photos compare good accessibility features (well marked crosswalks, effective ramps, etc.) with places where improvement is still required.  Both posts highlight the Making Strides: 2014 Accessibility Survey  about first/last mile accessibility to the Green Line.


Amtrak train passing a farm

An Amtrak train passing a farmhouse in Michigan. (CC-BY Russell Sekeet)

Travels near and far

My Favorite Place in New York City takes us to New York City and a very human scale tour starting from a certain brownstone stoop in Brooklyn to other thoughtfully observed places and spaces.  Closer to home, Summer Sites in St. Anthony takes us on another bike tour of Saint Paul, this one from August 2014 visiting Saint Anthony Park through Merriam Park to Mac-Groveland (others in the series are here).

Image of New York City brownstone stoop

My Favorite Place in New York City

Audio visual department

Image of man walking in street

A sidewalk story without the sidewalk

It has been an amazingly warm week in Minnesota and the quickest transition from snow and winter to pleasantly walkable, bikeable spring I can remember. Don’t just sit there, get out and 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