Sunday Summary – June 28, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoWhile your Sunday Summarizer is traveling streets far from Minnesota, the miracles of technology mean I can keep you up to speed on what’s happening on so you can get back to summer and Independence Day celebration planning more quickly and better informed.

In the news

Hennepin Avenue Bridge: On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, a driver rear-ended a pedal pub traveling south on the Hennepin Avenue Bridge sending 12 people to the hospital and writers are all over this.  Layout: A Safer Hennepin Avenue Bridge does the design work for a safer bridge which includes sidewalks, protected bike lanes and light rail (and narrower vehicle lanes, obviously) with some added questions and suggestions about improving the pedestrian experience in the comments. Pedal Pubs, Drunk Drivers, and Road Design reviews Twitter comments to the Star Tribune story about role of the street design.  Beyond the Strib, We Read the Pedal Pub Comments, So You Don’t Have To provides a valuable public service by reading the online comments from several news outlets, noting the highlights and providing a helpful rating. The Hennepin Avenue Bridge Isn’t Just For Cars looks at some more comments and again notes that common comments miss the mark. Safe to say, writers are looking to different design for better safety for multiple modes rather than keeping pedal pubs (and other human-powered vehicles) off the bridge.

Charleston, South Carolina hate crime: In other news, the shootings in South Carolina at Mother Emanuel AME Church by a white gunman highlighted racism closer to home. Yeah, We Should Rename Lake Calhoun obviously advocates for changing the name of one of Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes named for John C. Calhoun, noted defender of slavery. Comments consider leaving the name, but changing the reference to another, more positive Calhoun (such as Haystacks Calhoun, though the ties to Minnesota are tenuous at best), leaving the name unchanged on the grounds most don’t know who John C. Calhoun was anyway and/or no one cares, adding some historical context (Calhoun ordered the land survey which put the lake on the map) and support for a change.

Hennepin Avenue Bridge

Hennepin Avenue Bridge

Other good stuff

Not everything this week comments on current events, but is great to read.  In keeping with the Hennepin Bridge safety and design theme, A Blink of an Eye on Hennepin Avenue East describes a near miss where the bike boulevard crosses Hennepin Avenue East at 5th Avenue SE and draws larger conclusions about how poor connections like this one undermine the safety and usefulness of the whole network. The many comments analyze this crossing further, suggest design changes and compare this intersection to other places around the Twin Cities.

What Is the Capacity of I-94? follows up on the recent What is the Capacity of the Green Line? by looking at the highway which parallels the Green Line. Comments question statements that transit and highway users are completely different markets, as well as challenging some of the numbers.

Connecting Saint Paul’s Waterfront via Union Depot picks up on a thread from MinnPost to suggest a deeper connection between Saint Paul and its waterfront (and River Balcony) by extending the Union Depot concourse over train tracks and roadways to reach the riverfront. In a different Saint Paul neighborhood, A Neighborhood Pizza Joint Needs a Neighborhood critiques Davanni’s Pizza’s 40th anniversary plans to try to update its stores to help young millennials think of Davanni’s as their neighborhood place rather than another franchise business. Davanni’s original location on Cleveland and Grand, however, will stay just the same and Nate Hood unpacks how being in a walkable urban location and not at the edge of a mall parking lot makes a difference and calls on Davanni’s to support bike lanes, too, since that’s one key way to tie neighbors to their business by helping them get there by bike.


The original Davanni’s pizza location

Audiovisual department

Charts of the Day and Map of Monday: After a lull last week, Charts of the Day have returned this week with Land Use Requirements for Solar EnergyInternational Road Fatality Rates vs MNMetro Transit Ridership vs. Seats and US Fertility Rate. Plus, Map Monday: Chicago with Minneapolis’ New Parking Requirements.

Comics continue: As we wait for Bicyclopolis, Book 2, we get more RoadKill Bill with Roadkill Bill – Tailpipe Emissions and Roadkill Bill — There Goes the Neighborhood.

Videos: 1948: Educating Road Users in Amsterdam follows the Amsterdam Police and their “Announcement Jeep” directing pedestrians, cyclists and tram riders about the right way to do things via loudspeaker; this is a different picture of Amsterdam than the celebration of walking and bicycle infrastructure we usually see. I-35 Bridge Lighting in 2011 Foreshadowed SCOTUS Decision is a time-lapse video of the rainbow lighting of the bridge for Pride Weekend 4 years ago, perhaps repeated in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision making same sex marriage legal nationwide. Friday Video – Crosswalk Audit takes a GoPro-enabled walk to test how well drivers obey Minn.Stat. 169.21 “Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.”

Visual encyclopedia: I’m trying to figure out what to call Monte Castleman’s posts about traffic signals and related subjects and “visual encyclopedia” seems pretty close – many pictures plus explanatory text to tell you All About Traffic Signal Controllers, Part Two which continues the series begun last week with a detailed look at the vintage Eagle EPAC 300 16 phase NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) TS-1 controller.

Traffic Fatality Rates compared to MN

Traffic Fatality Rates compared to MN

June is screeching to a close and Independence Day (and the start of the Tour de France on the streets of Utrecht) will be here before the next Sunday Summary. Enjoy the holiday, right your bike (at whatever pace you prefer on whatever kind of bike you like to ride) 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