Sunday Summary – July 10, 2016

sunday-summary-logoWe’re in those post-Independence Day doldrums with a rather light week here on, so you can read everything and still have plenty of time to enjoy summer on your street wherever it may be. Many thanks to Sam Newberg and Jeb Rach for summarizing the last two Sundays while I was enjoying a variety of transportation and land use situations in the UK including single-track roads (a sure cure for distracted driving, especially with sheep), traveling car-free in Wales, and a few surprises like:

Brand new multi-use path connecting whisky breweries on Islay

Brand new multi-use path connecting multiple whisky distilleries on Islay.

Longer reads

Eating Spam Downtown: A Story of Big Box Reuse is more about the problems of reusing edge-of-town big boxes than the specific case of the Spam Museum’s relocation from its initial former K-Mart site to downtown Austin, MN. Abandoned big box locations (often so the original store can open a bigger facility) are difficult to reuse because big box stores work to dominate their market rather than capitalize on traffic from (and to) other places.  Reusing sites designed to be stand alone islands is difficult and Nate Hood thinks “We need to start thinking about how we can design places so that they are reusable after their first life-cycle.” Commenters are on both sides with some proponents of easy-to-drive to locations plus supporters of more connected places.

Austin, MN's Spam Museum's former facility

Austin, MN’s Spam Museum’s former facility

For The Convenience of Your Car Ride, I’ll Veer Right: A Story About the Freedom to Bicycle is a bicycling coming of age story, in a way. Alice Avidor (new writer!) reflects on learning and loving to ride her bike in the Twin Cities and the abrupt change after she was hit by a car at age 18 when she realized “I wasn’t used to being overly cautious of myself biking so drivers could be under cautious about their driving.” Most commenters share the view that bicycling is fun and wonderful most of the time, but know well how the delight can be interrupted by drivers honking, yelling or worse (I’m reminded of this post over at Biking in Mpls Stop Honking and Support Bike Infrastructure using drivers’ impatience/anger as a reason to support separate bike lanes).

Carefree summer cycling

Carefree summer cycling

Quick looks

Video: Metro Transit A Line Opening Day Celebrations – video is just that. In addition, check out an early review of the A Line from David Levinson and a preview of the A Line from Aaron Isaacs’ latest Quarterly Transit Report.

Chart: Chart of the Day: Vehicle Weight vs Road Damage Levels comparing a variety of vehicles from a 9-ton big rig, Hummer H2, Prius down to a the worst bicycle case scenario of  a “Fat man on a freakishly heavy bicycle” and their road impacts (“364,520 bike trips to equal the damage caused by just one Hummer H2”). Comments here debate the “tax cyclists for bike infrastructure” question (and take a look at this earlier post by Alex Cecchini on the subject, too.

LinksCity Building Links: Eisenhower and the Interstates, Streetcars and Urban Design from The Direct Transfer.

And that’s the week on  As always, we welcome your input in the form of comments on posts, writing your own post, and new members.  Have a great week!



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