Sunday Summary – August 28, 2016

sunday-summary-logoIt’s State Fair Time!  Before you get to the cheese curds, Pronto Pups, and new food-on-a-stick, you have to get to the Fairgrounds.  Here’s express bus info and official bike to the Fair advice accompanied by a reprise of this post Forget Biking to the State Fair – has anything changed since 2014?  For more Fair inspiration, here are posts on the Fair from seasons past.

Getting more people on bikes

Linda Lindeke tells us some Magical Moments on Wheels with “I Can Shine” five-day camp program sponsored by the Minnesota Down Syndrome Association by taking us one day at a time through the camp which “has brought together children, parents and care-givers, and volunteers to get those wheels rolling. Volunteers receive careful training to assist children and adults with a broad range of disabilities in 75-minute sessions tailored to each person’s abilities and comfort level. Families witness the bikers’ joy of participating in an activity that they might previously considered out of their reach.”

bike camp tandem

Tandem riding at “I Can Shine” camp

Particular places

Experiencing Open Streets Franklin is another review of an Open Streets event.  Last week we went to East Lake Street to think about protected bike lanes; this time Alex Tsatsoulis takes us on a family friendly visit to the event on Franklin Street observing “There are few places where I as a parent can let my kid just run around and play freely without constant fear of him running into traffic (even on the sidewalk it just takes a second of me not watching him!), and Open Streets really reminded me of how much of my life revolves around making sure he’s safe from motor vehicles.”

Preferred Redesign for Saint Paul’s High Bridge Includes Protected Sidewalks, Calmer Traffic is MnDOT Community Advisory Committee member Ken Paulman’s report on the current planning for the High Street bridge: “Members of the MnDOT community advisory committee for the project were presented with two concepts at a recent meeting with project manager Tara McBride. One concept keeps basically the existing design but with wider sidewalks; the other has a barrier-protected sidewalk similar to the Wabasha bridge. The group unanimously endorsed the latter.” Commenters propose some tweaks to the concepts.

Scooter fun at Open Streets Franklin

Scooter fun at Open Streets Franklin

Trains ‘n’ Transit

A Broader Look At Passenger Rail Opportunities in Minnesota from our regular rail reporter Mike Hicks maps existing track which could be used for passenger rail and gives us a bigger picture for about how to connect Minnesota places to each other and to the country by rail: “I decided to try making a map to show how much of the state and surrounding area could be linked using existing track, and how much might need to be rebuilt or constructed on new alignments in order to make a suitable network. You might call this a “fantasy map”, but I prefer to think of it as a “mapping experiment”, since it’s mostly based around infrastructure that already exists.” The comment section discussion compares rail to bus connections, spending on roads and rail, and how rail connections might benefit smaller communities.

Aaron Isaacs‘ Quarterly Transit Report–August 2016 reports on new signs indexed bus stop activity, the new A Line and some service improvements this quarter.  There’s corroboration from commenters than the new signs are an improvement.

New writer Tom Basgen looks at the dead zone in transit between 1 am and 5 am Night Owls and Early Birds and “Though the lack of ridership in the middle of the night makes extended transit hours a tough sell on the surface with a lower amount of ridership and fares offsetting the costs, there are significant benefits to be gained by stretching public transit hours.” Those benefits include encouraging people to take transit home when the bars close and enabling people working early shifts to get to work by bus rather than driving. One commenter provides a catalog of “almost Night Owl” bus routes, too.

A way to make Night Owl buses more fun to ride?

A way to make Night Owl buses more fun to ride?

Quick look

Chart of the Day: Time and Space Required for Movement of Modes: “While not technically a chart, this animation from a German logistics company called PTV has some chart-like qualities, and illustrates well the relationship between transportation mode, complexity, space and time.”

And that’s it for this week. On to Labor Day, the end of the State Fair, the start of school, and hints of Fall – 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