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Sunday Summary – November 22, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary logoLast week, we highlighted our “Streets to the Max” fundraising push; this week, we invite you to our  2015 streets.fundraiser – Thursday, December 17th (click over to buy tickets) to take place “[r]ight next to Holidazzle in Loring Park!” with topical bingo, a silent auction, and yummy refreshments. is raising funds to upgrade this website including better integration with our forums, as well as supporting day-to-day operations on our site with 100+ writers, 100,000+ readers. We are, in short, trying to fulfill our mission of expanding the conversation on land use and transportation issues in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

New project with The Line is also developing alliances with other organizations with compatible missions.  We recently completed our crowdsource collaboration with Nice Ride and this week marks the first cross-posting of content from The Line, an online publication about the creative economy of the Twin Cities. and The Line are sharing content to extend our conversations on land use and transportation in the Twin Cities. In Growing Cities, Parking Challenges Require Creative Solutions is the first shared post which looks “at four cities in the Issue Media Group network [of which The Line is a part] that are in the pilot stages of their approaches to mitigating traffic congestion, pricing and overall parking accessibility.”  Washington, DC, Saint Paul, Denver and Cleveland are the cities surveyed for changing parking rules. The Saint Paul portion includes recent parking meter travails (see this recent post about Grand Avenue) while commenters seize on DC’s issues.

Biking and Walking

MassDOT’s New Bikeway Guide — The Beginning Of Good Things. is Walker Angell’s “book review” of the new Massachusetts DOT Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide which is mostly favorable, but notes a couple of omissions and urges MnDOT to get to work on updating its standards.

Northfield’s Routes to Schools Still Not Safe documents the 10+ year land use and transportation problem of traffic congestion and high speeds near three of Northfield’s five public schools; a new grassroots group is working (again) to try to find ways to improve the situation on a state highway and through the one intersection which links the schools.

Great Streets and Human Enjoyment helps us continue to enjoy Sam Newberg’s recent trip to France and England with more pictures and descriptions of great streets in London and Paris, with encouragement to enjoy our own city’s streets “[n]o matter the traffic speeds or street width, walk down the sidewalk…Whether it is an act of defiance or simply a routine outing, sit at a sidewalk table and share a meal with a friend or family member.”

Walk This Way: Lake Street and Marshall Avenue is another long walk from urban explorer Janelle Nivens; this one heads from west to east across Saint Louis Park, Minneapolis and Saint Paul finding many wonderful sights big and small along the way. Commenters add some historical and contextual detail about the route and its context; you can suggest future walks in the comments.

Mural on Marshall Liquors

Walk this Way: Mural on Marshall Liquors at 2027 Marshall Avenue

Not biking and walking

Sensible Infill Development Blocked by Zoning in Minneapolis is Matt Steele’s observation from his bike commute past the vacant corner of 38th Street and Park Avenue where R1A (single family residential – low density – see MinnPost’s interactive map for a look at Minneapolis zoning) zoning prohibits adding “Missing middle” housing at this corner close to bus routes and other higher density uses. Commenters have some ideas about this lot in particular, but there’s also broader discussion about zoning and regulation.

Texting While Driving is Illegal and Dangerous, but People Still Do It continues Anne White’s coverage of safety issues and Toward Zero Deaths efforts. This post reviews some of the statistics (“[i]n the last four years, almost a quarter of all crashes that resulted in a death or serious injury were attributed to distracted driving, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety”) before turning to Matt Richtel’s book, A Deadly Wandering, which uses the story of one fatal crash caused by texting and driving to tell a much bigger story about the problem and finally to current campaigns to reduce texting and driving.

Much more lightheartedly, Themed Street Names calls out some of the places like Fridley’s musical development with streets named Symphony, Lyric, Tempo, Melody, Ballet and Concerto or Mound’s alphabetical bird streets –Avocet, Bluebird, Canary, Dove, Eagle, Finch, Gull and Heron. Add your own example in the comments.

Messages to discourage texting and driving

Messages to discourage texting and driving

Audiovisual department

Charts: Charts are often gateways to important reports and good sources of more information, so do look at charts for their links to the wider world and for continuing conversations already begun here on This week  CO2 Emissions vs. Cycling Modeshare takes one chart from a recent much publicized study from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).  Bottineau Light Rail Cost Increases adds information from MinnPost to continue the discussion begun last week.  Mortgage Interest Tax Subsidy Recipients illustrates “[a]bout a quarter of federal housing subsidies assist low-income renters. The rest go mostly to wealthy homeowners.” to get you thinking.

Map: Map Monday: Treaty Lands of the Upper Midwest maps treaty negotiations across the Upper Midwest plus some explanation of how those negotiations worked (and points to more information about Native stories).

Cartoon: The Crank’s Cartoon Shout-outs has Andy Singer getting visually cranky about some of the ways cars rule the world.

LEED Certified Buildings

The Crank’s Cartoon Shout Out

By next week’s Sunday Summary, you might be eating leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner or watching football. I’m thankful for the writers who keep bringing up big ideas, arguing for better cities, and having fun doing it.  Happy Thanksgiving 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