Marching out of March and into April, here’s the week on streets.mn beginning with March Madness, of course. So, while you should be working and March Madness is not yet a national holiday, use the commercial breaks from March Madness (the basketball variety) to keep up with streets.m(ad)n(ess) and this week’s round 2 results: Policy & Potpourri and Development & Transportation.
Bikes and pedestrians
We Can Make 28th Avenue Better for People takes us to south Minneapolis on 28th Avenue from 38th Street to Minnehaha Parkway to consider testing simple, inexpensive traffic calming measures such as four-way stop signs, curb extensions, and removing the center line. Bicycle Facilities Best Practices Report from Transport for London summarizes key pieces of the study commissioned by Transport for London to guide the writing of design standards for London (a city which is certainly not Amsterdam in cycling infrastructure); Minneapolis was one of the places studied.
Transpo Convo: “What’s stopping others from using transit more regularly?” asks people who can drive or take transit why they choose driving, but moves on from the simple answer “convenience” to ask who are Metro Transit’s target customers – the people who don’t have other transportation options, those who could drive or ride, or another characterization and“what criteria should be used to determine how Metro Transit resources are used?” (here are the other Transpo Convos in the series).
The Disability Community is “Making Strides” Toward Better Transit Access continues discussion of the recently released Making Strides 2014 Accessibility Survey which studied challenges to Green Line transit access by the disability community and makes recommendations. Among the recommendations is working with the state’s Olmstead Plan. Olmstead Plans were new to me, but I learned they are named for the 1999 United States Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. L.C., the State of Georgia was sued for unnecessarily institutionalizing people with intellectual disabilities; the court ruled the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires states to provide services to people with disabilities in the “most integrated settings” appropriate to their needs and the Olmstead Plan and the Department of Human Services works to do this.
Where Should the Orange Line Terminate? (in Burnsville) argues against using the existing MVTA Transit Hub and in favor of developing a MnDOT owned parking lot for the purpose; commenters disagree and find other ways to link the end of the line to the Heart of the City. Ban the Ban, Not the Plan reviews the recent news about a bill introduced in the Minnesota legislature; the initial legislation proposed banning funding and planning of the Zip Rail high-speed rail line between the Twin Cities and Rochester (reviving memories of the Dan Patch gag rule), while a revised bill has deleted the language banning route planning but retaining the material prohibiting the state, Metropolitan Council and regional rail authorities from allocating any funding for construction.
Big policy picture
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (Per Mile)? breaks down the proposed $21 billion transportation funding package to tell you your share: $.10 per vehicle mile traveled. The numbers are crunched from two state documents: the 2010 Transportation Finance Advisory Committee Minnesota Moving Ahead report and MnDOT’s Daily (Average) and Annual (Total) Vehicle Miles 2013. In addition to breaking down the huge total funding amount into a human-scale burden, there’s discussion of the gas tax and other policy issues.
- Watch: We Bicycle St. Paul: Better Biking, More Customers is a short video produced by St. Paul Women on Bikes exploring bikes and bike infrastructure as an economic development tool in Saint Paul and coinciding with the Saint Paul City Council’s approving its new bike plan. Magic Parks brings summer back with a very short promo video for the Minneapolis/Saint Paul regional parks system. Finally, Public Spaces is the final video created for the Knight Foundation featuring Gil Penalosa of 8-80 Cities (here’s a link to the Knight Foundation project and all the videos).
- Look: Two charts this week with Street Lighting and Safety Perception and Commute Mode vs. Happiness (walkers, train riders and bicycling commuters are the happiest). Map Monday: Vacant Property in Minneapolis is from the Star-Tribune and is relevant to a recent streets.mn post asking about vacant property and preservation as well as this week’s podcast).
- Listen: Podcast #85: Over North with Jeff Skrenes, Brian Finstad, and Will Lumpkins talks to North Minneapolis community organizers about historic preservation, transportation and neighborhood revitalization in their neighborhood (and look at Map Monday, too).
- Continue the graphic adventure of Bicyclopolis: Episode Four, The Great Collapse.
Forget March Madness, Gophers Women’s Hockey Team won their 6th National Championship with last weekend’s match against Harvard. Looking ahead, this week will see the end of March (going out like a lamb?), April Fools’ Day, Easter and the beginning of Passover – save some time to read streets.mn, maybe write for us, and have a great week!