Sunday Summary – March 22, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoDon’t just sit there – participate! You Too Can Write for! by checking our updated writer’s page or, to learn quite a lot about topics and our sense of humor before submitting anything, Here’s Your streets.m(ad)n(ess) Bracket and you can play in the streets.m(ad)n(ess) Round 1 – Play-in Games until 8 pm today. But first, read the week’s offerings helpfully herded into thoughtful categories:

Bigger issues

How One Legislator Makes Transit Work in a Busy Schedule follows up on the Roll with Us Transit Challenge: March 1-7, 2015 to get state legislators to ride transit for a week, by documenting freshman Representative Dave Pinto’s participation, but also asks what it might take for many more to make transit work in their schedules. Comments identify non-transit friendly land use patterns and some issues with the Green Line, but there is still much opportunity for you to consider what would make you use transit regularly.

Should Minneapolis Build an Urban Soccer Stadium? does not ask about building a soccer stadium at all, nor about how it will be funded, but just where it could or should be located because: “History has shown us that downtowns are great for stadiums, but stadiums aren’t always great for downtowns.” The post does not provide an answer, but knowledgeable commenters consider what’s required for a soccer stadium, the preference for an urban stadium by the soccer league, and more general discussion of urbanism, funding, and why sports can or can’t share facilities.

Two posts start a conversation about affordable housing.  The first post, How I Set Apartment Rents, describes how one writer/landlord determines apartment rents in her own building as a specific real life example of where some of the numbers come from in the discussions about housing supply, affordability, etc.  This is followed closely by the second part, Housing Markets? Humbug! , which expands the focus from setting rents for one building, but shrinks the conversation from the housing market as a whole to submarkets affected by more local changes or “What’s the point of looking at the 7-county numbers when I’m just writing about Uptown?”

Image of future transit map

Proposed future transit system (possible in an “Increased Revenue Scenario” according to the Met Council’s 2040 Transportation Policy Plan.)


Girling Got There Cheaper than Train Fare tells the story of Thomas H. Girling, Robbinsdale resident, state legislator and founder of Girling Warner Transportation Company in the early part of the 20th century; the company’s fleet of buses ran between Minneapolis and Anoka by way of Robbinsdale, Osseo and Champlin. More history in What I “Lafond” On Blair‘s summer bike ride through Mac-Groveland, Hamline-Midway, Frogtown (Thomas Dale).


Historic photo of Warner Girling bus

Girling Warner bus


What I “Lafond” On Blair is another summer bike ride from August 2014 around Saint Paul finding history, people, and interesting places along the way; this one rides through Mac-Groveland, Hamline-Midway, Frogtown (Thomas Dale).  More rides are here.  And the next installment of the graphic novel Bicyclopolis: Episode Three, Archer Sturmley’s Tale.  St. Paul City Council to Vote on Bike Plan previewed (with cartoons!) the public meeting and vote on the Bike Plan which took place on Wednesday, March 18; the plan was approved unanimously.

Cartoon car evolving to bicycling

Saint Paul evolves toward bicycles (Cartoon Andy Singer)

Audiovisual department

Charts: City of Minneapolis Parking Benefit Costs shows the cost of the parking or transit benefit Minneapolis appointed employees received and US Cities According to Income Spread charts the 95% income level for the top 50 US cities

Maps: Two maps on Monday: Map Monday: Working vs. Creative Class Chicago shows where creative class (technology, law, arts, healthcare, professional jobs), service class and working class neighborhoods cluster in Chicago. Map Monday: Rankings of Minneapolis Neighborhoods by Overall Health including the health of residents, but also “the neighborhood’s environment, economy, schools, social institutions, housing, transportation, and safety.”   The rankings are part of a HUD-funded pilot project to use a variety of health indicators to better target resources.

Photos: Friday Photo: What is this thing in downtown Saint Paul? crowdsources the answer, but you’ll have to go look at the photo to find out. Then & Now is an occasional feature comparing photos of a place in the past and present. Then & Now: Red’s Savoy Inn and Environs shows the changes in the east end of Saint Paul with aerial photos from 1945 and 2015.

Aerial photo Red's Savoy Inn Pizza site 1945

Red’s Savoy Inn Pizza site 1945

Parting exhortation

Role Model is a short call to advocacy and raising the bar; “should aim to serve as a role model for the rest of the US, and the world, about how cities should function. We are perfecting the Twin Cities not simply for our own benefit, but for that of humanity.”

With that call to action, take a look around your part of the Twin Cities (or Greater Minnesota) this weekend and think again about writing for to help us be that role model for the world.  Get out your snow shovels 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