We are in the middle of May, National Bike Month, and this week is Minneapolis Bike Week with lots of events to encourage, entice and reward biking to work, school, and everywhere else. Bike-related news from elsewhere flying across my newsfeed: a program designing bikes for larger people to help get more people riding and building bikes based on how people draw them. And here’s the week on streets.mn
Nick Magrino took a trip to Colorado and, after riding several buses (including the Flatiron Flyer), caught the brand new A Line train back to the airport in Mile-High Mishap: Denver Accidentally Misnames New Train in what looks like naming rights gone ridiculous.
Sam Newberg also rides the A Line, but he was thinking about the larger picture of transit policy, politics and funding With Denver on the FasTracks, Hoping the Twin Cities Aren’t Derailed. Sam observes “the opening of Denver’s A Line is symbolic of something much more. The A Line represents more than a decade of political and financial commitment in the Denver region (and the State of Colorado) to building transit infrastructure. Here in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Legislature’s uncertainty about funding the Green Line extension (SWLRT) represents a potential long-term threat to the future viability and mobility of the entire state.” The comment section has some good discussion about how MnDOT allocates funds, tax options, distinctions between Denver and the Twin Cities and more.
Around the Twin Cities
A New Life for the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge takes us to Bloomington for a second look (here’s the first about the Minnesota River Bottoms trail) at bike and pedestrian improvements there from life-long Bloomington resident Monte Castleman. This time, Monte reviews the restoration and reopening of the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. This post is an extensive history of the bridge, its original purpose, different discussions (or arguments) about its replacement and more.
Janelle Nivens has two posts this week. A Minneapolis Saunter is a Midwest counterpart to the New York City’s Shorewalkers 32 mile Great Saunter around the island of Manhattan. Janelle also walked 32 miles around Minneapolis (and a bit of Saint Paul) and shows us some of the things she found along the way including food trucks, lemonade stands, and a special Little Free Library. Check out the photo gallery for all the sights. What’s Wrong With This Picture? was a walk in the right place at the right time to photo-capture a car on the Midtown Greenway and to think about how often this happens and how to prevent cars from entering the Greenway as well as a helpful section on reporting incidents. The comment section has a robust discussion of signage, bollards (pro and con).
Continuing saga of getting around the block
Mike Hicks has been mapping blocks for the last few weeks. Starting with Minneapolis and Saint Paul downtowns and then the complete cities, followed by suburbs, and now we see about Getting Around the Block: Metro vs. Outstate in Rochester and Fargo. To compare “Minneapolis has about 90 blocks per square mile, while Rochester has less than 22 per square mile. By either measure, Rochester is much more of a sprawling city than Minneapolis, although it’s roughly on par with the suburb of Bloomington.” Fargo, however, is “squeezed a bit on the west by the suburb of West Fargo and on the east by the Minnesota border and the city of Moorhead. I mapped 1166 blocks and 272 large ones, for a ratio of 4.3:1. That’s significantly higher than Rochester’s 3.6:1, but still far below Minneapolis’s 21:1 or Saint Paul’s 14:1.” In both cities, Mike looks at some of the constraints (rivers, railroads), development timeline, notable places, and gives a snapshot of how each city got to be the way it is.
Links: Real American Links! Housing, Traffic Studies and More! is the weekly inspiration of links The Direct Transfer
And that’s the week on streets.mn. Our Events calendar is in the process of being reinvigorated, so take a look at what’s happening in the Twin Cities area soon and tell us about any events you know about which might interest streets.mn readers.