Welcome to April which is being blown into Minnesota on 30 mph winds at the moment. Of course, we had to start the month with some fun before getting back to the serious (but still not always solemn) business of bringing you additional perspectives on places. Here’s the week:
Expanding the conversation about land use and transportation is our mission here at streets.mn and good conversation often has a few jokes thrown in. Streets.mn is not without humor most weeks, but our April Fools posts truly expand this part of the discussion.
Legislative Report – Transportation Safety “reports” on pending legislation to address a very Minnesotan problem and “ensure that all deer in the 10 counties with highest accident rates be provided with, and be compelled to wear, high-visibility markings.”
Put the smartphone away because pixels are a limited resource; the Pixel Shortage Threatens Photos, Videos and More so “We either make the pixel sacrifices voluntarily now or we’ll be dealing with significantly more severe restrictions later this decade.”
City Considers Consolidating Businesses into Distribution Districts radically revamps Saint Paul by imagining that the “City Council will consider a proposal to divide the city into corporate distribution districts in order to reduce wear and tear on city streets. The first phase of the program assigns food distributors to specific neighborhoods of Saint Paul” like the old Ford plant.
For Bde Maka Ska, a New Bridge to Honor a New Name imagines a bridge for the lake formerly known as Calhoun which is like the Cedar Avenue bridge over Lake Nokomis only more so; the new bridge will not only provide unsurpassed vehicle access, but will metaphorically bridge gaps in the community if the hype can be believed.
Hennepin County To Relocate Central Library to Geographic Center of Hennepin County takes an aggressive look at equitable distribution of services: “There’s nothing ‘Central’ about downtown Minneapolis for the County,” observed Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who led the charge to move Central Library to his own District 7. “It’s really about equity. All square feet of all parcels of Hennepin County deserve equal access to all services. I’m tired of this Minneapolis-centric mindset.” Of course, there will be free parking.
Finally, did you pledge to ride every day in April for 30 days of biking? streets.mn hopes “30 Days of Biking was Just a Prank” Admits Founder did not deter you from starting the month off right by reporting the founder of the “increasingly popular internet-fueled pro-bicycling movement which has spread around the world, began as a way to “mess with” what he referred to as “those Minneapolis hipsters.”
A Cycletrack Solution for Excelsior Boulevard is Adam Froehlig’s engineering solution to last week’s incident where a driver struck and critically injured a cyclist on Excelsior. The proposal includes a road diet and adding a two-way cycle track through the Minikahda Club segment. See also the Minneapolis Bike Coalition post on how the media reports on crashes like this one
Pioneer Press, St Paul’s Fiscal Hawks Get it Backwards on 8-80 Investments by continuing to tell a story which ” pits the biking and walking future of Saint Paul against the city’s economic stability” as city street projects costs rise. Bill Lindeke calls this out as “the wrong story to tell. Instead, quality sidewalks and bike paths are just about the best investments that a city can make” and looks at the true source of the increased costs, plus examining the long-term return on investment of bike and pedestrian improvements. It’s important thinking for any city to be doing, not just Saint Paul.
Walker Angell continues his look at gas stations begun last week with predictions that electric vehicles would make gas stations go the way of blacksmith shops. Gas Stations: Will They Survive The Rise of Plug-in Hybrids? looks exclusively at plug-in hybrids to suggest vehicles “like the Chevy Volt and Volvo XC90 may have a greater impact on the demise of gas stations than pure electric BEVs” by looking at vehicle models available and who’s buying them.
Chart of the Day: Perceived Disorder vs Ethnicity is a simple chart illustrating one bit of the “basic thesis is that perceptions of disorder, i.e. a chaotic or blighted neighborhood, have little to do with actual measurable disorder in a neighborhood. Rather, our reactions about which neighborhoods are ordered or disordered are colored by race and previous assumptions.”
Map Monday: Population Growth in Minnesota Counties continues a conversation begun last week with this chart. Adam Froehlig created this map to help illustrate where the population changes are happening, plus in the comments, there’s a link to another map showing absolute change and percentage change superimposed.