Sunday Summary – October 25, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoWe do have Official Business to do here at and the board elected new officers yesterday which is the official business being announced. Read the post to find out who we are, but also where started and how it’s grown. We hope we grow even more, but we need your assistance by writing, becoming a member, or serving on a committee.

Nice Ride roundup:

crowdsource-logoAt about the same time the Nice Ride bikes go to their winter home, the Ride crowdsource conversation about how to expand and improve Nice Ride is also concluding (Check out prior posts here). Two posts this week advocate for expanding Nice Ride as a link to transit.  Nice Ride, the Green Line, and the Griggs Bikeway shows us the new Griggs bikeway in Saint Paul and how new Nice Ride stations on that north-south street could connect neighborhoods with the Green Line. By connecting these neighborhoods to transit, Saint Paul’s overall underwhelming Nice Ride participation could also improve.  Growing Nice Ride to Support Alternative Transportation Options describes some trips where Nice Ride formed an extension to the transit system and also suggests the key to expansion would be destinations people want to reach in areas people already like to ride – 50th & France, for example.

Ideas for Building the Nice Ride Community (and Revenue) thinks out loud about marketing and promotion ideas like friendly competitions between neighborhoods, businesses or schools to use Nice Ride, fun events like a beer tour, and advertising possibilities on the bikes. You could add your ideas in the comments.


In addition to Nice Ride as part of the transit system, there are two posts about the larger picture of transit and transit funding. What could $6.5 million mean to Metro Transit? looks at the plans for the increasingly expensive pedestrian bridge linking the Vikings stadium to the Downtown East LRT station and author Tyler Schow asks what other transit improvements Metro Transit’s projected $6.5 million contribution could fund. Answer: $6.5 million buys 57,522 bus service hours and the post has a table of how that could be deployed (and take a look at Nick Magrino’s post from earlier this year which kicked off much discussion about the cost of this bridge).

Alex Cecchini read the news about Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport’s runway , 17/35 and thought about Applying the MAC Funding Model to Metro Transit as a way to think about transit and the funding stigma it faces.  The Metropolitan Airports Commission “relies on a mix of direct user fees, ongoing value capture via concessions, and parking to cover nearly all its operating and capital expenses. Metro Transit should be able to do the same and lessen the negative stigma of funding shortfall that holds it back in political theater.”

The currently proposed Pedestrian bridge.

One rendering of the proposed Pedestrian bridge.

Places near and far

Far: Urban Awesomeness 101 – Place de la Contrescarpe, Paris shows us a lovely place in Paris. We wish we were there.

Near: Much closer to home around the Twin Cities and their lakes, Grand Rounds Branding & Design looks at the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System (which includes 50 miles of parkways, 51 miles of walking trails, and 51 miles of biking trails) and the street design, signs, and other features which mark the route.

NearTransportation and the Status Quo in Saint Paul is a lament by our car-free Saint Paul sketcher Ken Avidor about Saint Paul “sliding backwards into the dark ages of automobile dominance” while other cities – including neighbor Minneapolis – make more progress toward “the decoupling of status and private automobile ownership.” The commenters talk about Saint Paul’s neighborhood identity (but not larger civic pride) as well the Grand Avenue parking meter issue; there’s strong feeling among commenters for better bike facilities, but also preserving what they believe works well now.

And, the Grand Avenue parking meter issue is a big one.  The title We Read the Parking Meter Comments, So You Don’t Have To pretty much sums up this post; Julie Kosbab reads the comments on other media websites and scores them. Also take a look at Bill Lindeke’s tcsidewalks summary of the last very contentious meeting.

As wonderful as Paris cafes are, most don't encroach too much on the public realm

As wonderful as Paris cafes are, most don’t encroach too much on the public realm

Audiovisual department

Charts of the Day of the Week: User Revenue vs. Highway Spending Gap over Time charts the steeply growing gap between highway user revenue and spending on highways.  2015 LRT Ridership (so far) shows the ridership to date for the Blue and Green Lines (and it’s up on the Green Line).

Map: Map Monday – Minneapolis Commercial Street Traffic Trends shows falling traffic numbers but also much redevelopment to offer some evidence that vehicle traffic and business success may not be quite so strongly linked as often noted in news stories about parking meters.

We hope you are working on your streets-related Halloween costumes (pictures welcome – or write a post about your street’s great trick-or-treating…or why trick-or-treating doesn’t work very well in your neighborhood…or mapping great trick-or-treating in your community), since next week’s Summary will be post-Halloween and on Central Standard Time, too. Have a great week and save the candy for the kids in costumes!




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