Sunday Summary – May 8, 2016

This week, you can read What’s Next for and How You Can Help Us Get There. Back in December, the board did some strategic planning and plotted a direction for our future. We really do need your help; is 100% volunteer (although hiring someone to help with volunteer management is in the plan), so every initiative is a chance for readers to get more involved.

The board at work

The board at work

Preservation, pro and con

A Roster of Events to Celebrate Preservation Month is ‘s catalog of events (with links and descriptions) for Preservation Month. Claire notes: “Sometimes preservation gets a bad rap as being anti-development. I don’t see preservation that way, quite the contrary, I see it as one of development’s greatest resources. This is why I love that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has dedicated the month of May to raising awareness of preservation advocacy. There are so many ways to get out there and love up on some old buildings this May.”

Preserving Nothing at 200 Central Avenue is a less positive view of preservation by  opening with “This is why I hate historic preservation…” following the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission’s decision last week to allow a developer to demolish two buildings while also denying a request to build a 40-story condo tower which was “a vote to preserve literally nothing. Literally. They are fine with tearing down the buildings. It’s the nothing that’s left afterward that must be preserved. That’s insane” (but, he concedes, it’s also the correct decision under current rules).  Commenters start a lively discussion among articulate preservation defenders (like Claire VanderEyk), others who are far more skeptical, others who tease out the procedural issues of two distinct decisions, and more.

Preservation Month


People on bikes and on foot

Mississippi River Regional Trail Construction is Reuben Collins’ preview of the summer construction season on the Mississippi River Regional Trail. The MRRT “is a planned 27-mile trail connecting South Saint Paul to Hastings, much of which is already in place, and the Spring Lake Park segment is under construction this summer. The prospect of being able to ride all the way from South Saint Paul to Hastings completely on trails is exciting.”

Hennepin Avenue Reconstruct I: Major Improvements and Hennepin Avenue Reconstruct II: Even Better are writer Julia Curran’s debut posts about the upcoming reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue (here’s another related post by Janne Flisrand on making Hennepin lovable). The first post reviews a recent public meeting to discuss improvements; the second takes those ideas several steps further for even more change. Julia not only gives us the diagrams, but also gives us a first-person walk along “Hennepin, weaving between slower foot traffic, waiting impatiently at poorly timed lights, and enjoying the pleasure of moving under my own power. As much as I love busy streets full of fellow Minneapolitans and visitors, for many it can be difficult or unpleasant to navigate the tight sidewalks and thread through throngs of people during the many events and shimmying past at-capacity transit stops.” Julia’s “biggest dream, the one that becomes very unlikely with federal approval of the current concept, is a slightly meandering Hennepin Avenue chicane.”

Hennepin Avenue reconstruction

Hennepin Avenue reconstruction

Ideas from Rochester (but applicable almost everywhere)

9 Ideas to Help Implement Rochester’s Destination Medical Center Visions is relevant not only to Rochester and the DMC, but Adam Ferrari has thoughtful advice for building good design into public works and planning departments, managing parking, and planning for the city you have rather than some other place.


Quick looks

Saint Paul Increases the Focus on Pedestrian Safety is a preview of now past events held in Saint Paul this week to work to improve pedestrian safety. Heidi Schallberg highlights the urgency of the need: In Saint Paul alone, a pedestrian has been hit by a driver every other day on average in the first 90 days of 2016.

Map Monday – The Spending Habits of a “Modal Mom” from blogger Lana Stewart (who spoke at this year’s Winter Cycling Congress in Minneapolis) links to her post and shows her map of one month of her shopping habits by bicycle in Ottawa, Ontario.

Dingbat Links: Connecticut Affordability, Miami Transit, Edge Cities and More! are more links from The Direct Transfer.

Spending by bike in Ottawa, Ontario

Spending by bike in Ottawa, Ontario

And that’s the week on

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