Sunday Summary – March 27, 2016

Image of Sunday Summary logoMarch Madness may be taking over basketball fans’ lives and killing workplace productivity, but let’s take a moment to celebrate the Gophers Women’s Hockey team’s National Championship win over Boston College last Sunday, shall we?  Yes, that’s better. It’s been a light traffic week on perhaps due to hockey, basketball, snow, or Spring Break, but here’s what we’ve got:

A Primer on Zoning Codes: The Basics is a quick introduction to very basic zoning concepts from frequent commenter and now new writer Peter Bajurny. Here at, we want to connect people with information to help them join conversations about transportation and land use; this introduction to zoning is one step toward growing better citizen advocates.  If there are other topics you want to know about, tell us in the comments.


Gas Stations: Not Long For This World? asks Walker Angell,’s biggest proponent of electric vehicles. Using a look back to blacksmith shops closing to make way for gas stations and automobiles to looking forward: “Planning for what their communities will look like in the future is a key job for cities. Those that plan well do well and those who plan poorly see falling housing values, falling tax revenue, and increased problems from all directions.”

The gas station of yesteryear: the Hill Blacksmith Shop may not be for long if self-propelled wagons catch on.

The gas station of yesteryear: the Hill Blacksmith Shop may not be for long if self-propelled wagons catch on.

Daniel Choma helps us Dream a Little Dream of Me: Minneapolis’s 10th Ave Bridge. The structurally deficient bridge in the shadow of the I-35W bridge has been used as a case study for explaining infrastructure finance on and this post continues to ask whether the bridge is needed for car traffic or whether the load-bearing and other problems could be avoided by making it into Minneapolis’ High Line: “For me, this is the best case scenario for the 10th Avenue Bridge. Since it is already such a high use pedestrian bridge, why not just continue to allow people to use it as a pedestrian bridge and shut off traffic entirely?”

10th Avenue Bridge - the next High Line?

10th Avenue Bridge – the next High Line?

Five Ideas to Help Fund Minneapolis Street Reconstructions responds to news coverage of the funding crisis for street repair. Alex Cecchini rejects the either/or “options in front of us being: 1) pay $30 million more a year to maintain our residential streets, or 2) accept deteriorated residential streets” and proposes ways to change the conversation, change street design, and fund streets including narrowing streets, charging for parking, and even putting housing in the middle of the right of way. The main message is to challenge the status quo on both funding and design since “it’s crazy to think we might cut funding for affordable housing or parks any other important city function so that we can keep free parking and streets designed for 25+ mph where people live and play.” Comments critique the suggestions, but also consider assessments, sidewalks, stormwater and more.

One idea for funding streets: Housing in the middle

One idea for funding streets: Housing in the middle

Quick looks

Then and Now: Graeser Park, aka Robbinsdale Rockgarden Roadside Parking Area shows us the park in about 1940 and today. Chart of the Day: Population Growth in Minnesota Counties is a chart created by writer Scott Shaffer using newly released census data which show big Metro counties are growing, while smaller population counties are mixed.

And that’s the week and almost the end of the month here at Take a look around your streets and consider writing about what you see and think (or support our work by becoming a member). 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