It’s been a very hot week here in Minnesota, but not too hot for our writers with posts encouraging taking action on issues, looking at Pokestops in the Twin Cities, and some thoughts on getting around by following the rules of the road (and some common sense). We welcome new writers and new perspectives to extend ideas already posted or to help change the conversation; you can support our mission to expand the conversation on transportation and land use in Minnesota by becoming a member of streets.mn, too.
Close your Facebook: Go Get Heard! is Daniel Choma’s user’s guide to getting involved in local advocacy by itemizing the places (neighborhood associations, City Council, city boards and commissions) decisions are made, encouragement on how to be heard, and some good discussion in the comments with more specific ideas for engagement plus candid conversation about issues in various groups.
The Surprising Urban Geography of Pokemon Go looks at where Pokestops are located, correlates Pokestop density with income, and “It turns out that Pokemon are urban creatures who love diversity, sidewalks, and mixed-use neighborhoods. They don’t really shy away from poor “inner city” areas. Instead, they thrive on placemaking, and they flee from white suburban sprawl. You’ll never catch a Pokemon in a gated community.” Bill Lindeke gets interested in how Pokemon GO can be a catalyst for walking and bringing people onto the streets (along with a few common sense safety guidelines).
Tesla’s Electric Self-Driving Car Euphoria Gets Jolted by the recent first fatal crash of a Tesla, but self-driving car fan Monte Castleman is not deterred. The post reviews some of the factors in the crash (and what might help in the future) and defends the technology which is in its early days. See also Walker Angell’s post from last week detailing the technology and other Tesla collision information.
Curbing Metro Mobility’s Growth tackles a difficult issue: the dial-a-ride Metro Mobility [MM] service “is consuming an ever-larger piece of the pie. Every MM passenger trip sucks up the money that could pay for about 14 fixed route passenger trips. Because MM service is a federal unfunded mandate, it gets first crack at much of the available funding and fixed route transit gets what is left over.” Retired transit planner Aaron Isaacs proposes “Tethered Dial-a-Ride” where MM vehicles “would be assigned to a series of much smaller operating areas, each focused on a transit center with decent fixed route service” as a way to better connect fixed route and dial-a-ride services and control costs. Commenters consider whether Uber/Lyft services might be a possible partner, as well as adding first-person narratives about using MM and other Metro Transit services.
Bikes (and more)
Fix the One-Way Trails, Please is a request from Janne Flisrand to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to make the lovely paved trails around the lakes work for transportation and not just recreation as she related the difficulties of trying to ride with a child on a trailer bike to day camp. The exclusive recreational focus “on the part of the MPRB and of Minneapolis’ park-watchers, averts discussions of how to ensure they serve park users’ needs. For K and me, trying to access an elementary school, it meant they were adding uncomfortable miles to our route, preventing us from safely getting home, and forcing us to mix with drivers who wished we were elsewhere.” Commenters have some things to say about cars around the lakes, the reality of riding with a child, and access to the lakes by non-vehicles.
The Rules of the Road for people in cars, on bikes and on foot via Lindsey Wallace’s Biking in Mpls blog reviews the law plus gives some common sense advice for where to ride, transportation etiquette, and common sense guidelines for helping us all get around safely and happily. The comments pick apart path-related issues such as choosing to ride on the street rather than a bike path, whether fast runners might be better on bike paths than walking paths, and similar questions. There’s lot’s more common sense biking information over at Biking in Mpls, too, from winter biking advice, interviews with real people who ride bikes, and putting tired myths to rest.
Map: Map Monday: Transit-to-Jobs Accessibility for Twin Cities Case Study Areas is both a map and a couple of charts from the recent University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies report on the relationship of jobs to transit in the Twin Cities metro area highlighting the relative inaccessibility for some suburban locations.
And that’s the week here on streets.mn. Cooler weather in the coming week could make it more pleasant to enjoy your streets, wherever they are and with or without Pokemon GO. Have a great week!