‘Twas the Sunday before Christmas and all through the streets…maybe there will be snow (Chart of the Day: Historical Twin Cities Snow Depth Probabilities ) and of course, there will be “Best of 2015” lists. You can review the Top 10 Most-Read streets.mn Posts of 2015 which is heavy on bike-related posts (5) this year (compare to last year’s list if you’d like), but also tends toward posts with personal stories to get at bigger issues. You can also have another chance to appreciate the Top Ten: Least Viewed Posts which gives “some love to contributions that might have slipped through the cracks.” These two lists highlight how streets.mn tries to provide content which hits popular issue, takes deeper looks at specialized stuff, has first person reflections as well as expert planning posts – thanks to all our volunteer writers for creating all the content for streets.mn.
More thanks are in order for those who came and/or donated to our 2015 streets.party! on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Our first such event was a fun and successful evening; we hope we’ll see you at a future gathering.
Alex Cecchini says I Love Alleys and gives a list of reasons we might, too. He identifies “the biggest benefit of alleys is the ability to support infill and redevelopment, which has overall positive benefits to neighbors (via supporting more shopping, better transit, etc) and the city’s tax base. The natural path to adding density along alleys are Accessory Dwelling Units.” This post has a particularly rich comment section with alley lovers, alley haters and alley skeptics chewing over laws (Minneapolis has one on the books prohibiting use of alleys by the public), parking issues, why alleys are rarely built now, and other interesting ideas.
Northfield’s Train Depot Moves to a new location to avoid destruction, but also is the first development on a difficult block planned for redevelopment for many years. Betsey Buckheit celebrates moving Northfield’s historic 1888 train Depot one block north is a significant event for historic preservation, testament to the hard work of the local Save the Northfield Depot group, and could be the start of significant improvement to help bridge the chasm MN Highway 3 created in downtown Northfield.
Adam Miller shows us This Intersection Needs Work for people on foot and bicycles. This “problematic intersection that stands between my new home and the closest grocery store: Cedar Ave & East Minnehaha Parkway” in Minneapolis has utility poles blocking sidewalks or no sidewalk connections at all to reach the button for the “walk” light. Not only is this intersection between Adam and the grocery store, but it is also a connection to the popular Lake Nokomis park and its trails. Commenters consider a roundabout at this location as well as more detailed discussion of signals, signal timing and more.
Over in Saint Paul, Lesser of Three Evils for my Saint Paul Bike Commute maps out three options Dana DeMaster uses to get from work to home on her bike and suggests improvements to each (and asks for some additional suggestions). The bike trail along Shepard Road, for example, is a pleasant route, but connections to the trail are lacking. Commenters supply some additional thoughts for each route, but there’s room for more.
Charts of the Week: Two housing-related charts this week. Housing Types for Different US Cities does not show Minneapolis/Saint Paul, but streets.mn writer Alex Bauman provides local information on Twitter. Housing Valuation and Leverage Ratios illustrates the difference between the current housing market and the bubble of the early 2000s. More seasonally, Historical Twin Cities Snow Depth Probabilities showing “it’s rare but not unprecedented to have seen no snow this late in the ‘winter.’”
If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful holiday! If not, have a great week!