Today is the first day of Spring and it’s rather an early one in Minnesota. Each season is a good “street season,” but Spring is the one in which we start walking and biking more, we get to know our parks again, street trees begin to shade and cool our walks, construction season begins, and we recognize our neighbors more easily without their heavy coats and hats. Happy Spring!
Musings on Route 7 observes the people and events on the number 7 bus. Hannah Pritchard notes, “The thing I like about the bus is the human element –witnessing the patterns in other peoples lives, interacting with them, seeing them interact with one another. You don’t get that in a car (and only a little on a bike).”
Short and Long Term Ideas for Humanizing Hi-Lake reviews (and explains the jargon in) plans for the intersection of East Lake Street and Hiawatha from a new City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Metro Transit, and MnDOT study to make the intersection more bike and pedestrian friendly. Annie Van Cleve includes plenty of maps show the options under consideration, but commenters point out it’s not a pleasant intersection for cars as well as hostile to people on bikes or on foot.
Emily Metcalfe looks at plans for the Union Park neighborhood and sketches Growing Selby Avenue Between Lexington and Snelling as a modern urban neighborhood. The Union Park draft plan “reflects the features that we value most about Union Park: our established residential neighborhoods, and our businesses, non-profits and universities that provide local jobs. The draft plan encourages walking, biking and making the most of our great transit options…So the draft plan also encourages walkable development along the transit corridors (including Selby) using traditional neighborhood zoning, in keeping with the historic, human scale of each corridor.” The comment section focuses on transit routes in the neighborhood (the 21 bus in particular).
Bikes and walks
Don’t Let 12.8 Seconds Delay Third Avenue Improvements advocates Annie Van Cleve. Proposed improvements to Third Avenue would add “10 percent more green space in the form of landscaped medians and planters, improve safety for all users by removing a lane of traffic and feature the first planter-protected bike lane in Minneapolis.” Opposition to the plan focuses on the delay to vehicle traffic which could be created by removing a traffic lane. Arguing the projected 12.8 second (during rush hour) would be minimal while the improvements in safety, health and aesthetics are large, the post goes on to list advantages of the redesign to property owners, businesses, drivers, and the general public (and there’s a link to a petition to sign, too, asking the City Council to make the improvements).
Beer Walk: Wabasha Brewing Company is another of Janelle Nivens’ wonderful walks. This time, Janelle walks across Minneapolis to Saint Paul and the Wabasha Brewing Company where there is not only beer, but a streets.mn meet-up. Of course, we also get to see the interesting images along the way and Janelle invites conversation about walking, walking to breweries, and other ideas in the comments.
Prior Avenue and the Merriam Park Freeway Fight is Andy Singer’s positive response to his own recent post expressing frustration with MnDOT and the Snelling Avenue planning and construction. Prior Avenue is “one of the only nice ways to cross Interstate 94 and the Canadian Pacific rail line” because “The Merriam Park Freeway Fight” against freeway ramps at Prior Avenue preserved that corridor and the fight “highlights what it takes to win– a mass mobilization of people and politicians, great organization and a willingness to spend years fighting for what you want. That’s an important lesson for politics and life.”
Monday Maps: We only had one Monday this week, but two Map Mondays (sometimes there are just too many maps to make you wait): Teardowns, Additions, New Construction in Saint Louis Park shows where those events are happening in response to a Strib piece noting the Edina teardown frenzy hadn’t leapt over the border into Saint Louis Park. Minneapolis Residential Zoning shows just that with the observation “Minneapolis has eight zones dedicated to residential uses, R1 through R6, plus R1A and R2B. A full half of those, R1, R1A, R2, and R2B, are dedicated to the preservation of the single family character of neighborhoods by allowing only single family homes or duplexes (1 & 2 Unit Residential).” The map generated a huge number of comments with extended conversations among a small group about density (and where it should go), traffic and parking (as related to density), and neighborhood character illustrated with multiple examples from Minneapolis neighborhoods.
Event: National Summer Transportation Institute (Transportation Summer Camp) is for students entering grades 7-9; application deadline is April 1.
Materials: Follow the Red Brick Road takes a look at paving materials and makes a case for brick.
National Links: The latest links from The Direct Transfer is Pigeon Air Patrol Links: Seattle Affordable Housing, Historic Alexandria, and a Philly Railyard Cap.