Sunday Summary – June 21, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoIt is the Summer Solstice today (or will be at 11:39 am in’s Central time zone) and Father’s Day, too. Before you gather firewood for your Solstice bonfire to ward off your particular urbanist demons or start your Father’s Day celebrations, take a look at the week on

Beneficial bikelash

A few weeks ago, Pioneer Press columnist Joe Soucheray published another rant about bikes saying “let mini-van driving moms decide” about the proposed Cleveland Avenue bike lanes presuming soccer moms would choose parking over bike lanes.  Joe doesn’t know moms and misjudges some of the folks who like cars, too.   Open Letter to Joe Soucheray from a Saint Paul Minivan Mom is a pitch perfect post about why moms approve of bike lanes.  Don’t forget last week’s One Soccer Mom For Bike Lanes which also emphasizes bike lanes make streets better for all of us – drivers, cyclists, pedestrians – by slowing traffic.

Bikeway Logic is written by Walker Angell who can speak Joe’s Garage Logic lingo while also being’s biggest champion of Dutch-level cycling infrastructure; Walker argues that cars are great, but not the right tool for all jobs – like short local trips.

Transpo convo: Kristen biking with her son is not written in response to Mr Soucheray, but is part of’s “transpo convo” oral history of real people getting around the Twin Cities. This post is very much in keeping with the other stories by moms because Kristen tells her story about being another mom who cares about safety, convenience and getting around by bike.

"What's not positive about it?" Kristen asks in relation to bicycling with her son.

“What’s not positive about it?” Kristen asks in relation to bicycling with her son.

More bikes and transit, too

Particular bike projects. 9th Street Protected Lanes: Not Dead Yet shows how readers can make a difference. An earlier post by the same author highlighting the missed opportunity for protected bike lanes on 9th Street lit a fire under readers who contacted Minneapolis City Council members and sparked substantive input from the Minneapolis Bike Coalition. While this year will just see painted lanes, the possibility of protected lanes is alive for next year, not the next time the street is reconstructed decades from now. In Saint Paul, Cleveland Avenue Bike Lanes alerted readers to a meeting where the City Council would vote on the proposed bike lanes (at the June 17, 2015 meeting, the Council voted to delay action and study alternative routes), but also works to dispel some of the most often heard objections to the project (and see above for the responses to one complainer) with particular attention to the loss of parking. Commenters know the project area well and tease out some details of the discussion.

Particular transit projects, Green Line: With the first birthday of the Green Line now behind us, we have a bit of follow-up on its first year. Win a Green Line Hat Winner announces the winner of the hat for the best Green Line story (and read the stories in the comments here). Not everything about the Green Line is all fun and games, however, especially for bikes and pedestrians, so Supposed Safety Measures Test My Patience looks at how the barriers and warning bells at the Hiawatha Avenue crossing invite walkers and riders to circumvent them because they are out of sync with how long it actually takes to cross the tracks.

Transit and getting around the Twin Cities: Transit + Bike Share = Freedom is one writer’s story of how Nice Ride bike share works with bus transit to make car-free living better by offering those last-mile (or fractions of mile) connections. Comments point out a few problems (no Nice Ride bikes to fit small people) and suggest improvements (bike parking for transit). Connecting North Minneapolis to LRT continues the discussion by proposing a simple, one station solution for connecting LRT lines at North 7th Street and Olson Highway. The numerous comments offer some rich discussion about the details of the proposed station as well as the larger issues of equity involved in connecting North Minneapolis.

Skyway Connections on Nicollet Mall is not about bikes or transit (but if you’re trapped in the skyways you can’t find the bus or the Nice Ride bikes), but about making the pedestrian connections in the skyway system work better with simple changes like better signage to help people find how to get into the system and move along it. Comments discuss skyway jurisdiction and practical suggestions.

Hiawatha Trail and Green Line

Hiawatha Trail and Green Line

Bigger picture, wider world

Big: Denver Union Station and the Value of Great Public Realm visits Denver’s newly redeveloped Union Station which is now an intermodal hub for trains, light rail and buses as well a truly public space for the city.

Bigger: A Busman’s Holiday, or Readers on Vacation takes us to New Zealand, Norway and England and looks at streets, pedestrian crossings, and urban design in the Southern Hemisphere.

Biggest: Looking Beyond Minnesota (But Beyond Europe, Too) is a post from Thailand asking policy makers and advocates to think beyond local contexts, beyond Copenhagen and the Netherlands to the rest of the world for inspiration for building healthy, sustainable, equitable places.


Well-marked pedestrian crossing in Wellington, New Zealand

Audiovisual department

Visual reference guide: All About Traffic Signal Controllers, Part One continues self-proclaimed “light bulb nerd” Monte Castleman’s visual encyclopedia of things you pass every day, but probably haven’t thought about (yet).  But wait, there’s more!  From traffic signals of various kinds, the focus moves to streets lights, poles, and types of lamps with The Street Lights of the Freeways. Commenters have some interesting additional details about LEDs and light color.

Charts and Maps: There are no Charts of the Day this week, but there is Map Monday: Poverty vs. Toxic Release Inventory Sites in the Philips Neighborhood.

Video: Refurbishing Metro Transit’s Type 1 Light-Rail Vehicles is a little video from Metro Transit showing us how it’s done.

Graphic narrative: Roadkill Bill – U-Pick Farm continues the story (and an additional episode will post later today).

Camshaft, Cams, and Switches

Camshaft, Cams, and Switches

Finally, a free idea for the Vikings and the Minneapolis skyline: Free Idea: Keep Branding Off Vikings Stadium, Add It With CGI for TV Broadcasts.

Have a wonderful, long summer day today and a great week on the streets.

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