If you’re just tuning in, welcome to Round 3 of streets.m(ad)n(ess), where you, the streets.mn reader, get to vote on your favorite goings on in the world of Twin Cities urbanism. I’m here with my co-host, Jim, and we were just discussing the results of Round 2. What a round.
Lots of upsets, Nick. Lots of upsets with long names, in fact. How does that impact the bracket?
Well the main issue here is that our bracket is handmade in Microsoft Paint, a great program and a great sponsor of streets.m(ad)n(ess)–that’s Microsoft Paint: You’ve Probably Got It. Unfortunately, each long name is requiring me to rejigger the whole bracket, and that’s an expense we just haven’t budgeted for. So if you’re enjoying streets.m(ad)n(ess), consider becoming a member today.
Good advice as always, Nick.
Well, every month or so. In any case, our membership program is being bolstered by our recent acquisition of some sick decals–which you get when you sign up. Anyway, before we get into Round 3, let’s take a look back at the scores from the last part of Round 2.
- (1) ADUs (75%) over (8) Clean Energy Partnership (25%)
- (4) St. Paul 8-80 Fund (54%) over (5) Parklets (46%)
- (6) St. Paul Bike Plan (66%) over (3) Open Data Portal (34%)
- (2) Thrive MSP 2040 (65%) over (7) Curbside Organics (35%)
- (8) Social Media Parodies (56%) over (1) Holidazzle Market (44%)
- (4) Open Streets Expansion (61%) over (5) State Money for Nicollet Mall (39%)
- (6) Food Trucks Going Brick-and-Mortar (66%) over (3) The Consortium (34%)
- (7) Metro Urbanists’ Discovery of New Ulm (52%) over (2) 2014 MLB All-Star Game (48%)
Lots going on there. I see that notable inside joke and 3 seed The Consortium lost to 6 seed Food Trucks Going Brick-and-Mortar–what does this mean for our work khakis?
Could go either way, Jim. On one hand, further empowering and encouraging food trucks is dangerous for your work khakis, but food trucks moving into brick-and-mortar establishments with napkins and seating may be a net gain for work khakis everywhere.
Could be. And it was kind of a shame about 1 seed Holidazzle Market, right?
You know I thought they worked pretty hard to get this far, Jim, and it was heartbreaking to see them go down in flames, but the readers have spoken. There’s a real possibility for Social Media Parodies to keep powering through all the way to the final, now that I look at how the seeding worked out there. What a science.
(1) U of M Density vs. (5) Surly Brewery
Our first two entries in Round 3 are very different but have a bit in common! You’ve got the large-scale transformation of Dinkytown and Stadium Village around the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus, and the new destination brewery built by Surly a bit east of there, near the border with St. Paul.
All those new apartment buildings over by the U are changing the experience there–it’s less of a commuter school these days and more of a, well, I guess, more of a Madison-like school. And boo Badgers, etc., of course, but have you actually been to Madison? Really went for the first time for a wedding back in 2012, and hot damn we all kind of looked around and were like “shoot, we should have gone to school here.” A dense city of mid-rise buildings and full of people and stuff and things! It was great. Very…European. Maybe some of the new buildings in Dinkytown are a little tacky-looking and have ruined the word “luxury” for a generation, but it’s hard to see all of this as a negative, long-term.
Over at Surly, we’ve got a brewery built by one of the Twin Cities’ older craft brewers, in an industrial park-ish area near the Green Line. This was a neat get for Minneapolis as it’s one of those few things (like, say, a university) that will actually get new people into the city. The area is a bit out of the way now, but Prospect Park has a pretty ambitious plan for growth over the next couple decades. Also, did you know that craft beer is still somehow only like 8% of the beer market? How? Who? What?
(3) Midtown Greenway Transformation vs. (2) Downtown East Redevelopment
Both of these cats have a lot in common! Big, big projects along the Midtown Greenway in Uptown and Minneapolis’ Downtown East neighborhood. The development along the Greenway is largely infill in the traditional sense–taking gaps in an area and filling them in with productive uses. The Downtown East projects are a little different in that there’s almost nothing there right now, save for some jails and windswept surface parking lots. Both involve big numbers–“seven blocks,” “thousands of units,” “hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space.” Kind of weird that you can sometimes build these huge projects with little to no opposition but in other cases building a four story building will catch you hell. There’s something…something there, maybe.
In any case, what would really make the Downtown East Redevelopment pop would be, obviously, the inclusion of fire pits in Downtown East Commons–Vote Fire Pits ’15.
(1) Green Line vs. (5) Car2Go Expansion to St. Paul
“What great synergy you have!” said Little Red Riding Hood about the opening of the METRO Green Line and the expansion of Car2Go to St. Paul within a month of each other. These two things (along with the enhancement of local bus service to coincide with the opening of the Green Line) working together greatly increased mobility in St. Paul, a city due east of Minneapolis. A thought experiment as I try to fill space on these two relatively straight-forward entries: how many Car2Go Smart cars could you fit in a three car light rail vehicle? Like…a bunch, right? Those Smart cars are so small. Probably like 18? With the seats taken out of the LRVs obviously. That’s a good image.
(3) Hennepin/Lyndale Bottleneck Rebuild vs. (2) Nextrip at LRT Stations
Now here we’ve got the reconstruction of the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck in Minneapolis and the long-awaited switching-on of Nextrip at METRO LRT stations brought us kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Rumor has it there was some sort of patent troll situation going on there, or maybe someone kept hitting “remind me later” when prompted to update Windows over the course of eleven years. Nextrip not working was sort of a good metaphor (?) for other issues…I mean, it wasn’t really actually that big of a deal–the trains come every ten minutes or whatever. But it was this very visible thing that just didn’t work and stayed that way for years. I mean, the day they installed the first display flashing “PLEASE CHECK SCHEDULES” a kid was born somewhere in this city, and the day they got them working, the kid was in seventh grade.
The Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck situation has a special place in my heart, as I walk through it about thrice weekly to points south. And it’s not great! But it will get better soon, and it was rather encouraging to see lots of reasonable, informed public input used for good.
(1) ADUs vs. (4) St. Paul 8-80 Fund
Here we’ve got a Minneapolis policy going to war with a St. Paul policy, one of the better jurisdictional match ups. Last year, Minneapolis approved a city-wide policy allowing accessory dwelling units, while St. Paul set up a fund for 8-80 streets, or streets that people age eight to eighty would feel safe using. We could not reach any seven or eighty-one year old readers for comment, but I would note that ADUs don’t have any age restrictions *eyeroll*. We’re asking the hard questions here: Why doesn’t St. Paul want users younger than eight and older than eighty on their streets? Talk about biting the hand you feed and that used to feed you.
Do you have concerns about our children and our seniors that aren’t addressed by this irresponsible policy? Call Mayor Chris Coleman’s office at 651.266.8510.
(6) St. Paul Bike Plan vs. (2) Thrive MSP 2040
Pretty excited these two are facing off against each other in Round 3–they’re some of the best red meat around. You know when local news websites intentionally leave up a story about bikes or planning or the Metropolitan Council on their front pages for waaay longer than the newsworthiness of the story justifies, because they know that an extra 10,000 people will click the headline and immediately go right to the comments to see 200 unhinged morans going at it with each other? Right there–that’s cynicism. That’s the good stuff. Millennial snark’s got nothing on you, click-hungry web editors.
We’ve got an extensive plan for bike infrastructure in St. Paul (a city named by a representative of the Papacy…hmmmm…) going head-to-head with a comprehensive plan for comprehensive plans in the seven county metropolitan area. In the immortal and mis-attributed words of Sinclair Lewis:
When fascism comes to America, it will be offering public comment while riding a bike.
(8) Social Media Parodies vs. (4) Open Streets Expansion
Potential 2015 streets.m(ad)n(ess) Cinderella story Social Media Parodies is going up against Open Streets Expansion mere days after Open Streets announced their plans to expand to a record eight streets in 2015. Will the enthusiasm of Wedge LIVE!, MRRSVLD, MRRDC, Bloomingtonize, and others be enough to best that kind of momentum? Social Media Parodies distract us from the fundamentally maddening experience of being alive in 2015 with playful satire poking fun at our most lovably archaic entrenched institutions, while Open Streets tricks tens of thousands of Minneapolitans into imagining a world not ruled violently by cars. On some level, they’re both a little similar, in that they make you think differently about the status quo.
(6) Food Trucks Going Brick-and-Mortar vs. (7) Metro Urbanists’ Discovery of New Ulm
Your Only Comfortable Pair of Work Khakis everywhere lamented Food Trucks Going Brick-and-Mortar’s upset of The Consortium in Round 2, but here we are. Two dissimilar topics, one culinary and another rurally academic. Trying new things, like acknowledging the existence of the millions of Minnesotans outside the metro area, is good, but be vigilant about going too far, lest you find yourself at the Beer Dabbler blowing a .25 in line at the Asian fusion-inspired lutefisk taco food truck.
CAST YOUR VOTES.
This poll will remain open until 8 PM CST on Tuesday, March 31.
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