Sunday Summary – August 30, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoBefore you go out to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, why not watch The Minnesota State Fair on Speed video for a frenetic, but accurate preview? It’s been a pretty light week here at, perhaps because our writers have been eating cheese curds, witnessing the Miracle of Birth, answering legislative questionnaires, gathering piles of free stuff, or riding the rides on the Mighty Midway.


Lincoln Avenue a Good Alternate Route; However… while it’s a quiet, scenic route for bikes, it involves riding the wrong way on a one-way street; a quick fix could be to exempt bicycles on this low-volume street. Readers can probably suggest other places around the Twin Cities or their cities where small changes could make big differences.

In the bigger picture, It’s Too Hilly, Cold, Hot, Far, Snowy and Uncultured to Ride a Bicycle Here debunks myths and excuses about biking for transportation; no, Minnesota is not so intrinsically different from the Netherlands to make bicycling unwise, unlikely, or impossible in most of the weather, for many trips, much of the time. The comment section has some pretty rich discussion of helmets (always), weight/overweight cyclists, and individual stories of how people bike (or don’t).

59 Years On Sunny Slope is the first Saint Paul bike ride of the year by Wolfie Browender (here are all Wolfie’s rides). This ride introduces us to the couple who have lived 59 years on Sunny Slope lane and many other sights and sites along the way; any of these posts is a chance to take a meandering, closely observed tour of a particular place and its people.


Other important stuff

Would You Pay $876 to Cut 6 Minutes Off Your Commute? critiques the recently released annual fear-mongering Urban Mobility Scorecard from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute which ranks metro areas by delays due to traffic congestion, fuel costs, traffic congestion. The post unpacks some of the numbers and points out shortcomings in the analysis and then commenters continue the process.

Signs and Sidewalks Don’t Mix looks at some particular projects in the Twin Cities to show how construction signs and barriers block access to sidewalks and bike lanes, usually unnecessarily. Taking the next step, a couple of simple principles for preserving right-of-way for pedestrians and bicycles are proposed. Commenters respond to the request for more examples of sidewalk construction obstructions with many past and present situations.

MnDOT and Saint Paul’s Apology Doesn’t Change Anything comments on the July 17, 2015 apology by Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman for the destruction of the Rondo neighborhood by the construction of I-94. From the title, the position of the post is clear: a verbal apology is insufficient to repair the damage done, especially when the same practice of paving over neighborhoods continues. Commenters agree the destruction was terrible, but it is well worth your time to read through how they think in greater detail about how to change highway construction going forward and retrofitting current places.

How Amy Schumer Taught Judd Apatow to Love Cities is part Trainwreck movie review and part observation of how popular culture portrays cities, urban planning and transportation (with spoilers) by a devoted Judd Apatow fan.


Audiovisual department

Video:  The Minnesota State Fair on Speed describes this short video pretty well; no drugs are involved, but a speeded up view of Fair highlights is lots of fun.

Charts of the Day: Top 10 States for Vehicle Repair Costs over TimeCongestion Cost Estimate Ranges (and see the related post Would You Pay $876 to Cut 6 Minutes Off Your Commute?) and Minneapolis Electricity vs. Built Square Footage over Time.

Map: Map Monday: USA Turf Grass maps “Americans’ lawns [which] now cover an area three times larger than any irrigated crop in the U.S.”

Comic: Roadkill Bill: Part 3 of Vincent Van Gogh in America continues the graphic tale.

grass lawn map


Summer is screeching to a close. By next week’s Summary, it’ll be Labor Day Weekend with only one more day left at the State Fair, but this means it’ll be the start of the New (School) Year. Think about a new year’s resolution to write for us or become a member or send us your transportation and land use events.  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