Sunday Summary – December 27, 2015

Image of Sunday Summary is caught in the Christmas vortex with only a few new posts this week, but I’ve taken the liberty of adding some links to older, but related content since easy intertextuality is one of the benefits (?) of the internet.

The last minute has passed, of course, but Last Minute Christmas Gifts For Your Favorite Urbanist could be a list for birthdays, anniversaries, or next year’s holiday season for the urbanist with some travel suggestions, infrastructure planning ideas, and bike recommendations. Walker Angell thinks big and (mostly) international, but there are also some local choices like small town urbanism near the Twin Cities in New Ulm or Northfield for those who cannot get to the Netherlands. We’ve had more on crowdsourcing commuter bike suggestions this year (and transit commuter gear) as well as thinking about how to improve the Twin Cities’ bikeshare system Nice Ride.  And, for those who would like to explore the urban fabric of the Twin Cities, here are some suggestions for Saint Paul bike rides and adventurous walks. And, don’t forget, a gift membership to is a great gift for your favorite urbanist for any occasion (or just for fun).

Monte Castleman,’s “road geek” and most passionate “suburbanist” provides another local trip to The Past and Present of Bloomington’s Oxboro Neighborhood and some great photos of this suburb’s past, a quick history of the area’s development and redevelopment plus some thoughts for the future. Monte celebrates this neighborhood – his neighborhood – saying “Few people are under the delusion that this is a cultured and sophisticated place. Yes, there are the typically derided places like Applebee’s and McDonalds. And yes I go to them. But to me it’s not “nowhere”. I personally don’t want to live in either the central cities or farther into the suburbs, so Bloomington’s Oxboro neighborhood is “somewhere” to me and quite a few other people.”

Bloomington's Oxboro neighborhood

Bloomington’s Oxboro neighborhood

More seriously, two posts this week take the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press to task for their reporting on recent collisions between pedestrians and cars or trains.  Bill Lindeke‘s The Star Tribune presents “The Pedestrian Menace” dissects the Strib article’s statistics and questions the relevance of anecdotes to observe there are better ways to write about “pedestrian safety, crash trends, street design, and the role of cell phones in our everyday urban environment” and poses some questions which might be asked in future reporting such as “How can street design reduce aggressive driving? Is there anything anyone can do about it?” Alex Tsatsoulis takes a different approach in Blame Our Streets by noting recent successes in improved infrastructure, but using recent incidents and victim-blaming media coverage as a call for more action “to make sure that we are growing our city in a way that serves all residents, that is equitable, and that gives everyone the ability to feel safe in their own neighborhoods no matter how they choose to get around.” How we talk about transportation issues has been a persistent theme on recently; here’s a chance to read (or reread) Lindsey Wallace’s How Language Choices Blame the Victim and Matt Steele’s Walk-Shaming in the Media.

Making streets safer for people, especially very small people

Making streets safer for people, especially very small people

In How to Spend the Next Billion on Transit, Alex Cecchini adds up the projected costs of the BlueGreen, Orange, and Gold transit lines for total of almost $4 billion, but “major planned regional transit lines aren’t enough. Simply put, our metro has jobs scattered about too much for a few rail lines to really impact job accessibility for a typical resident.” So, Alex proposes a cheaper, bus-based plan for linking more people to more jobs via transit quicker and “a conservative’s approach to building an equitable transit system looks like” if the state legislature were to have a substantive conversation.

$1 Billion Proposal

$1 Billion Proposal

Prospect Park North – A Street Network is David Levinson’s started with a class project to conduct a travel demand analysis of the Prospect Park North redevelopment project and recommend changes to the street network and “After staring too long at maps, and making several field trips to the site with my class and by myself,” a sketch plan, annotations, links to photos, plus many references to relevant websites about the Prospect Park project are the result.

Proposed Prospect Park North Street Network.

Proposed Prospect Park North Street Network.

Our only quick visual look this week is Chart of the day: Car2Go Pilot Performance in Minneapolis which charts Car2Go’s pilot from the end of 2013 to mid 2015. Taking a look Minneapolis’ results comes soon after Car2Go announced plans to cut back its Saint Paul service.

This is the last Sunday Summary of 2015 – it’s been a big year on with more writers, more readers and more thoughtful conversation. Perhaps more “Best of” posts may follow, but here are the Top 10 “Least-Read” Posts of 2015 and Top 10 Most-Read Posts of 2015.

Happy New Year!

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