‘Tis been a hot and humid week here in Minnesota, but we have not been just sitting around drinking lemonade here at streets.mn. Writers have been at community events, continuing to chew over transit planning/projects, and getting on their bikes. Here are the week’s posts sorted and summarized so you can read what you need without breaking a sweat:
Let’s Put Those Tired, Anti-Bike Arguments to Rest generated a huge amount of traffic and large number of comments by calmly and concisely providing counterarguments and evidence to debunk the familiar anti-bike complaints which appear in the comment sections of pretty much every article about bikes. Streets.mn commenters, however, do not perpetuate the stereotype (well, almost…there was one comment about bikes blowing stop signs), but step up with thanks, some additional corroboration, suggestions for change and a few personal stories.
Cyclegating: The Biking Alternative to Tailgating finds a way to take a very auto-centric activity – tailgating before sports events – and make it a bike activity instead: “The concept is simple, really: bringing festive tailgating things on bikes instead of in vehicles.” Even better, Gophers’ games at TCF Stadium are located at the end of the Dinkytown Greenway and ripe for bikesploitation.
A Sad Bike Route in Minneapolis is a photo essay about a Prospect Park bike route which has fallen into disrepair making it less useful and less well used. 36th and Bryant are Finally Connected reviews the new bike lane leading to the 2-way protected bike lane on Bryant Avenue and is mostly pleased this connection has been added; commenters were not so positive about the new paint.
Transit, or not
Stop Linking the Green Line Extension with North Minneapolis considers the flawed process of the Southwest LRT project and says the emperor is wearing no mobility or equity clothes when it comes to serving North Minneapolis, but only provides some rhetorical cover for politicians. The many commenters have equally strong opinions about the process for selecting the alignment, who is (or is not) served by the project (or any transit project), whether North Minneapolis will (or will not) be better served, plus detailed consideration of both the route and the process.
Considering the problems with transit noted above, what would happen if we improve transportation for people without cars if we “Just Buy Them Cars”? The post takes a look at the costs of providing cars to people without them as a way of comparing the high cost of, say, the SWLRT and the high cost of cars. Commenters bring up many of the other costs (congestion, parking problems) and one suggests we might buy transit for car users.
Places to go and things to see
Although it’s too late to go see either of the events covered in these posts this year, perhaps they can inspire some similar outings or a future plan. Show, Don’t Tell: “The Artery” in Hopkins takes us to the suburb of Hopkins’ Raspberry Festival which featured some tactical urbanism activities to help show residents (and visitors) some of the bike/ped improvements of the Eighth Avenue reconstruction project known as “The Artery.” Or, in Saint Anthony Village, enjoy the Garden Club tour which shows us gardens, gardeners and neighbors in See A Garden, Meet A Neighborhood.
Big and little ideas
Big idea: The Rent is Too Damn High in Mankato reacts strongly to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies’ interactive map illustrating housing cost burdens in the United States; in Minnesota, Mankato (or rather, Blue Earth and Nicollet counties) has the highest share of renters with cost burdens. Some possible steps for helping reduce the cost of rental housing in Mankato (or perhaps elsewhere) are proposed.
Video: West Saint Paul Mayor Tries to Kill Robert Street Pedestrian Amenities uses a great little tongue in cheek video about the sprawl in West Saint Paul to critique the mayor’s statements that pedestrian facilities are nice “extras” which could be added when extra money can be located, but easily cut to help reduce cost overruns.
Charts ‘n’ Maps: Only one each this week with Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Temperature, Dew Point, Wind Direction, Precipitation Forecast and Map Monday: Global Internet Usage Cartogram.
Comic: Roadkill Bill: Kritical Mass Kids continues the story from Ken Avidor.
See anything which got you thinking or made you want to know more? Why don’t you write about it for us and share your perspective with Minnesota, the nation and the world? Think hard, stay cool and have a great week!