Closed sidewalk on a busy street with no temporary pedestrian accommodations

Sunday Summary – April 24, 2016

Image of Sunday Summary logoWe’ve just passed Earth Day on Friday, April 22. The idea for a national day for the environment was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson who hoped the attention and awareness of the environment would elevate environmental protection on the national political agenda. Senator Nelson. And Prince died.


Beyond the Metro

What it Means to be Urban in Rochester is the debut post by Rochester architect Adam Ferrari expanding our writer pool and extending our geographic reach outside the metro. “It is precisely because you can choose to live anywhere that now cities are in fierce competition to attract the new workforce and tax base of the next generation” and this means communities need to be able to distinguish themselves as particular places designed for people while acknowledging this also requires tradeoffs from suburban life. The post includes a link to Adam’s Pecha Kucha presentation from the Mayo Clinic Transform 2015 Symposium.

rochester flag

Saint Paul stories

Saint Paul Construction Kicks Pedestrians Into the Streets is Heidi Schallberg’s photo-lament about Saint Paul’s lack of temporary pedestrian routes during construction projects and how this detracts from accessibility and livability (and gives a nod to Minneapolis’ attempts to provide pedestrian access during construction). Commenters supply some additional problem locations in Saint Paul and much further afield.

In A Pennsylvania Avenue Bike Lane Connection for the East SideElizabeth Saathoff looks in detail at Pennsylvania Avenue and how it could be redesigned to cross (under) 35-E and connect the East Side to everywhere else in Saint Paul. Commenters provide some additional detail and links to MnDOT plans in the area.

In Praise of Housing Diversity is Bill Lindeke’s look at the West Side of Saint Paul where “Things are really mixed up, and it’s kind of wonderful” and his “wish that other neighborhoods had a similar kind of housing diversity, because it can be a tremendous asset towards building cultural, economic, and ethnic tolerance. My criticism of suburbia isn’t personal, it’s not related to the people that live there. It’s all about the way the built environment functions to isolate people from each other and minimize the kinds of social and physical relationships we can have with each other and our surrounding world.” The post includes many photos showing the juxtaposition of various housing types to illustrate the point.

Juxta-houses in Saint Paul

Juxta-houses in Saint Paul

Tale of Two Cities

Mike Hicks asks “How hard is it to get around the city block where you live, work, or shop? Does that affect the modes of transportation you choose on a daily basis? Does it impact the choices of city planners, or the areas where businesses choose to locate?” The first post, Getting Around the Block: Downtown vs. Downtown mapped downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul to show which blocks that can be circled in a clockwise direction with right-hand turns (when driving), which require left turns to circle and which require traveling at least one additional block to circle. The second, Getting Around the Block: City vs. City, zooms out to look at both cities in their entirety.

Quick looks:

Links: National Links! Row Houses, Bus Riding Board Members, and Bridges! is more links from The Direct Transfer via Greater Greater Washington.

And that’s the week on Have a different perspective on your street or urban experience? You could write for us and tell us about it.

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