Sunday Summary – July 26, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoA lazy summer week here on with many quick looks in the Charts and Maps, some fun, and only a couple of posts about hot topics – yes, the discussion does continue about LRT projects in the Twin Cities. But don’t stop here; did you know you can continue discussing the issues below and much, much more over on the Forum?

Light rail

Start Linking the Green Line Extension with North Minneapolis responds pragmatically to last week’s Stop Linking the Green Line Extension with North Minneapolis saying “it is time to shift the conversation to making the most out of the light rail line where it will be, instead of wishing it was somewhere else.” Making the most of planned light rail could involve transit-oriented development such as the Bassett Creek Valley Master Plan for the area surrounding the planned Van White station. Commenters are mixed with some agreement for the pragmatic, positive approach and some disagreement calling for the project to be halted.

Maps don’t usually generate much discussion, but Map of the Day: The Southwest Routing We SHOULD Be Building maps an alternative route; many commenters debate the suggested alignment as well as continued laments and complaints about the process and actual result.

The author's suggested Southwest LRT alignment, including stations.

The author’s suggested Southwest LRT alignment, including stations.


In Stop the Saint Paul Saints Anti-Bus Propaganda! Bill Lindeke exposed the anti-bus bias in the Saint Paul Saints’ inter-inning races sponsored by Metro Transit. These races have spectators hold giant cardboard cut-outs of Metro Transit buses or light rail trains while running a sort of footrace and, we learned, the bus almost never wins. Fortunately, applying some pressure helped; Bill reported on a subsequent race in Saints Transit Victory: The Anti-Bus Stops Here where the light rail cars didn’t even get into the race.

Finally, the bus wins

Finally, the bus wins

On the streets

Main Street – New Ulm, Minnesota takes us to the “local urbanist small town Utopia” and introduces us to New Ulm’s founding socialist Turner Society.  No matter where your road trips may take you, there’s more to learn about traffic signals. Having explained local Minnesota traffic signals in great detail, Monte Castleman moves further afield. Traffic Signals Abroad considers signals outside Minnesota, but still in North America as well as a quick look at the wider world. This series is a love song for traffic signals like the “beautiful “Spiderweb” lenses” which helps us all look more carefully at something we rely on, but probably haven’t considered closely.

No mistaking this for a vehicle signal

No mistaking this for a vehicle signal

Audiovisual department

Charts of the Day: Three charts deal with some aspect of housing: Percentage of Income Paid in Rent over Time (Age 22 – 34)Median Asking Price vs. Growth in Housing Units and finally Twin Cities Rents and Vacancy Rates which generated considerable discussion about the tightness of the rental market, rising rents, opposition to creating additional rental units and (tangentially) capital gains issues for sale of homes. The last chart, Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement diagrams the ways internet writers dispute or critique other posts from name-calling (which writers and commenters refrain from doing for the most part) to explicitly refuting points made (which is what we try to do here on

Maps: Map of the Day: The Southwest Routing We SHOULD Be Building is covered in more detail above since it generated much discussion. Map of the day: Residential Water Use Per Capita, 2005 is a useful adjunct to the Metropolitan Council’s Master Water Supply Plan now out for public review (follow the link to learn how to comment).

Comics: More of Roadkill Bill!Roadkill Bill: Obesity and Roadkill Bill: Thinking Seriously

Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement

Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement

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