Sunday Summary – May 31, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoIt’s the last day of May, students are graduating, kids at the school bus stop are wearing shorts and counting days…yes, it’s almost summer.  But after a little Memorial Day lull, we here at are back at work bringing you perspective on the news of the day, some fun, and some big picture thinking; here’s the week:

Transit department

Building on recent news of the development sparked by the Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis is Building the Wrong Streetcar tries to make the case for building a streetcar line in the Midtown Greenway trench rather than the Nicollet-Central Streetcar line currently under development. In a nutshell, the grade-separated line has whopping travel time advantages, could serve more riders and continue to intensify development in that corridor: “If Minneapolis is serious about improving the lives of its residents through a single, major transportation investment, the Greenway Rail is the way to go.”  Commenters note that the Nicollet-Central line is needed to connect an underserved part of the city, plus there’s some detailed discussion of transit routes and times.

Meanwhile, the Southwest Light Rail Project keeps getting more expensive and Trimming Southwest Light Rail reviews the possible cost reductions proposed by Metro Transit and offers some well-informed opinions on how to cut $341 million from the project budget. The post also includes maps and tables from Metro Transit’s report to supplement the quick information provided by mainstream media. Commenters consider particular stations and route alignment, as well as continue the intermittent discussion on criticizing transit projects designed for primarily serving commuters.

Finally, from particular projects to policy thinking: Car-Free Lifestyles Are The Secret To Transit uses the goal of enabling car-free living as a single, simple guideline for transit project priorities which, if followed, will bring the other oft-cited benefits of transit (like economic development, congestion reduction, air quality improvement, etc.) along with it. And, if resources are directed accordingly, questions like whether SWLRT should go to Eden Prairie become quite clear. This post was the comment winner of the week and the very thoughtful discussion centers around being able to live car-free in Minneapolis and/or the Twin Cities (there’s some pro and con), but also about the more likely scenario of how transit can enable families to go from two cars to one.

Midtown Greenway with rail

Midtown Greenway with rail

Community development department

A couple of posts this week look to how we can build community (or avoid destroying it) in various ways. While having heavily used parks is a great problem to have, Calhoun Path Etiquette provides some simple, practical advice for helping all the walkers, runners, and cyclists co-exist harmoniously around Lake Calhoun (and any other place where walkers, dogs, runners, and bicycles must move in close proximity) as we move to the crowded summer season.

Story of the Century: Hipster Cyclists vs. Suburban Cops in Pedal Pub Melee is a light-hearted look at the recent “attack” on a Pedal Pub in Minneapolis involving cyclists with water balloons and, unfortunately for them, off-duty Burnsville police officers. No, it really wasn’t that big a deal, but perhaps Pedal Pub Etiquette is needed next.

Parachute Cloth Mural Builds Community in South Minneapolis is how the Folwell Performing Arts Magnet School in South Minneapolis introduced itself to its community by inviting folks in to create a 2,000 sq. ft. public mural on parachute cloth – the mural can be created in pieces, on the ground and hung on the building.

Four abreast, rude.

Four abreast, rude.


Audiovisual department

Videos: Going Green is a fun little video about traffic signals, love and urban traffic. For more of a workout, Bike Saint Paul follows cyclists uphill.

Charts of the Day this Week: Lane Width vs. Crash SeverityTypes of Fire Calls over Time is one chart from a recent article tracking the decline in fire-fighting by fire-fighters, and Per Capita Auto Fatalities vs. Per Capita Vehicle Miles Traveled.

Maps: Map of The Day: Truckee Railyard is a zoning map for redevelopment of the rail yard while Tuesday’s Map Monday: 1970s Minnesota Bikeways (it was a holiday on Monday) is a vintage look at bikeways in the state complete with cover art.

And a photo: Photo Friday: Desire Path of the Year is a clear illustration of what “desire path” means.

Finally, two strips from the Roadkill Bill comics while we wait for Book Two of Bicyclopolis: The Sacrifice and Angerman.

Desire Path

Desire Path

See you in June and have a wonderful 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