After wonderful weather for Bike to Work Day on Friday, now we can look ahead to the end of the Minnesota Legislature’s session. By midnight tonight we’ll know if any compromises have been reached for transportation, taxes, and bonding bills (in the meantime, you can revisit this post about what to settle for in legislative deal-making or play a few rounds of MinnPost’s legislative bingo).
Now that construction season is in full swing, Dana DeMaster asks Can We Get a Detour? for bike lanes disrupted by Ramsey County’s project to replace roadway and add pedestrian ramps. When completed, access will be enhanced, but in the meantime, bike lanes have been closed without warning and without detours illustrating the persistent lack of consideration of bikes and pedestrians in construction project planning.
A New Life for the Old Cedar Bridge: Restoration Begins continues the story Monte Castleman began last week. The post includes a detailed review of what needs restoration and what will be done, followed by coverage of the construction underway and trailhead development plans. The bridge is slated to be completed by Fall 2016.
Digging History is another Wolfie Browender bike ride through Saint Paul, this time through Lexington-Hamline, Downtown, and Swede Hollow (where the digging takes place). Enjoy the ride and the people, buildings and details along the way.
Building better places
Matt Steele wrote a letter to the Minneapolis Planning Commission in support of variances for a project which would allow adding an apartment to an existing home by rezoning the property. This post contains the letter plus some explanation of why the Minneapolis’ Zoning Code Continues to Make Housing Unaffordable and some recommendations for upzoning to incrementally increase the supply of rental units.
Chia Cities is Adam Ferrari’s term for “the reaction to planning mistakes of the past resulted in city planners and architects creating idealized visions of vibrant cities that seemed to spring up almost overnight. Whether it was the generational change to instant gratification or an honest attempt to fabricate a cure-all, these chia cities—having instantly blossomed into fully developed ecosystems—were designed to emulate traditional town centers found in many older cities that brim with excitement, arts, culture, and commerce.” But these “just add water” chia cities (think Dubai, for example) still do not have the kind of rich urban fabric which develops incrementally and more slowly.
Decision Time for Minneapolis Director of Public Works is Sam Newberg’s short post using a simple story of a father and small child waiting to cross the street at 42nd Street and 28th Avenue in south Minneapolis to call for the new Public Works director (the city is interviewing candidates now) who will lead the city to build and rebuild streets to work for people walking and biking as well as driving. The comment section is lively with agreement, some specific suggestions, and a plug for skyways.
Active Streetscapes and the Role of Mayo Clinic takes us to Rochester to examine the tension between the Mayo Clinic (as a medical facility needing to control its spaces) and the Destination Medical Center Planning (which seeks to develop an active, interesting downtown). Adam Ferrari asks “What would happen if all Mayo Clinic office space was vacated on the ground level of buildings surrounding the Second Street SW and First Avenue SW intersection?” in favor of retail and commercial uses visible and accessible from the street (and compare Sam Newberg’s post about Minneapolis’ streetscape from 2015 thinking in similar ways).
Chart: Chart of the Day: US Pedestrian Deaths and Injuries as a Percentage of the Whole shows “In general, US roads have been getting safer. But at the same time, as more cities encourage walking and biking, pedestrian and bicyclist crashes, injuries, and deaths have become a greater share of the whole than they used to be.”
And that’s the week on streets.mn!