Sunday Summary – December 6, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary is experiencing a post-Thanksgiving lull this week. I’m sure this is because writers and readers are gearing up for our 2015 streets.fundraiser – Thursday, December 17th; this promises to be a fun evening high above Holidazzle with sparkling conversation, tasty nibbles while helping us raise funds to improve the website and sustain the organization. In addition to your financial contribution, we’d love your gifts of writing and feedback on how to improve the website, too.

Transit, bikes and feet

The 278 Story Parking Ramp Downtown Minneapolis Would Need Without Transit is a fun Friday thought experiment from Nick Magrino. If the 64,000 downtown office workers who currently use transit started driving instead, Minneapolis could or should build the 278 story ramp in the title. As one commenter summed up this post: “It’s the perfect combination of facts, snark, and visual representation of the consequences of something.”

More down to earth, we get to keep enjoying Sam Newberg’s vacation in England as he is Walking in Hackney. Starting and ending at the pub, Sam shows us (with many photos) “a truly wonderful, utterly walkable neighborhood” in London. Some commenters observe that the walkability is limited to folks with no mobility issues as stairs and other possible obstacles abound.

The Importance of Bicycle Lighting has The Crank briefly complaining about people riding without lights and complaining a little more about the decline in standards for lights and mounts (and the amount of time needed to retrofit lights), but really discussing “Why use bike lights?” and advocating for common sense standards.  The cartoon with the post titled “Bicycle Assisted Suicide” touched off some discussion in the comments about victim-blaming and the role of infrastructure in safety, too.

Camden Passage Islington London

Camden Passage, Hackney, London is a walkable destination street

Other stuff

Students Purposely Excluded from Some Neighborhood Boards is another post from John Edwards discussing the less than inclusive practices of some of Minneapolis’ neighborhood associations (read about other associations in his earlier posts); this time the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association in a student-rich area of the city is the target. In response to a MN Daily article noting “few students apply” to serve on neighborhood boards, John shows students do not have the choice to apply with facts about the Marcy-Holmes association residency requirements and election timing intended to make it difficult if not impossible for students to serve.  The comment section is rich with additional information about Marcy-Holmes, exclusion of renters in other neighborhoods and Minneapolis’ neighborhood associations more broadly.

Quick Hits: Why We Want Kmart, Dutch Demo Project, and More is Walker Angell’s potpourri of topics including asking what happens if the Kmart interrupting Nicollet Avenue is removed, advocating for a great demo project for Saint Paul to show how Dutch-quality bike infrastructure could work, suggesting a NiceRide station near retirement communities and the longest bit on bikeways from the drivers’ perspective in the US and the Netherlands.  Many of the comments discuss the Kmart removal by providing much detail from people who travel in the neighborhood and considering how the traffic patterns could work with the store removed.

Tales from Saint Paul Alleys reveals one of the differences between Saint Paul and Minneapolis: “Saint Paul does not plow its alleys. It is the responsibility of each block to figure out how to get its alley plowed…Want to see neighborhood politics at its best? Jump into a Saint Paul alley plowing battle.” Dana DeMaster provides frontline perspective with stories from several neighborhoods and how the alley neighbors figure out how to get the job done. Commenters discuss the pros and cons of this private enterprise (and whether it should be public), plus add some details about alley lighting and more.

Lake Street Kmart

The orange hatched area is Kmart and its parking lot; green line is Nicollet Avenue Photo: Geo-Location


Video: A Siri for Your Car (video) from Hughes Telematics tells us “the goal is to be connected everywhere” to emergency response, navigation, shopping and more so “[w]ith this cutting-edge technology you might never have to leave your car.”

Map: our only quick visual this week is Map Monday: Minneapolis future transit, a map-in-progress from Kyril Negoda (here’s an earlier future transit map):”The future lines will continue to closely follow historical development patterns from the streetcar era, which favored north-south  axis culminating at Hennepin and Nicollet avenues downtown.”

Future Minneapolis Transit Map by Kyril Negoa at Mapping Twin Cities Tumbler

Future Minneapolis Transit Map by Kyril Negoa at Mapping Twin Cities Tumbler

That’s the week on – I’m thinking about LIGHTS this week – bike lights, holiday lights (especially the wonderful displays on dark rural roads), Hanukkah lights tonight, and more metaphorically about trying to bring some light (and light-heartedness) to the transportation and land use conversation.  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