To celebrate the opening of the Franklin Avenue Bridge, the APBP (Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals) and streets.mn are joining forces on October 19th for a bike ride and social gathering. The event begins with a bike ride at 3:30pm to the bridge to see the new separated bike lanes and talk about the bridge with project team members. Continuing on, the ride will head to the East Lake brewery for a happy hour. The event is free, APBP or streets.mn membership is not required (but we welcome new members at this event or anytime) – get all the details here. Before you get on your bike, here’s the week on streets.mn:
Particular places – Twin Cities
Transpo Convo: Strolling a Quiet Neighborhood in a Changing Urban Area marks the return of streets.mn’s “Transpo Convo” series, which “aims to be an oral history of getting around the Twin Cities, one person at a time.” This installment arose organically from Monica Millsap Rasmussen’s walk around Merriam Park and the neighborhood bounded by Snelling Ave., Saint Anthony Ave., Pierce St., and University Ave. and her conversations with the people who live there. The majority of residents are renters and people of color; they “expressed a belief that no one really cares about this neighborhood, in terms of city/neighborhood relations. Yet, they themselves expressed caring for themselves and their neighbors, and seemed to express a sense of belonging to the area.” This portrait of a neighborhood is also a way to amplify voices which have not been heard and help make change happen.
In bigger headlines, Capital City Bikeway: Making St. Paul Great Again from new writer Melissa Wenzel. The post reports on the opening of the first bit of Saint Paul’s downtown separated bike loop. Comparing Saint Paul to Philadelphia, which has been working to change its status as the largest US city without protected bike lanes, the post also has some of the backstory on Saint Paul’s planning for the bike loop and thoughts about helping drivers become more aware of people on bikes and on foot.
Delivering Safety in Saint Paul’s Bike Lanes from new writer Serafina Scheel describes biking around Saint Paul with her 8-year old son; despite teaching him the rules of the road, they were unprepared for delivery vehicles blocking bike lanes, but “We kept biking, however, a bit warier, and continued to observe delivery vehicles parked in the bike lanes. I’ll admit that it rankles to have hard-won bike lanes being taken over by motor vehicles because drivers can’t be bothered to find a legal parking space.” They didn’t stop there, however, but also contacted UPS and the City of Saint Paul Public Works and Police Departments. Check the post for the responses and suggestions for more action to protect vulnerable road users.
Two posts from Walker Angell on his recent experience in Portland, Oregon. Portland’s Bike Share System reviews the new (as of July 2016) bike share system in Portland including how well the payment system, bike docking, and bikes themselves work. Walker also critiques the riding in Bicycling Portland and shows us many photos before finding “Portland is far from perfect (and beyond the core is not as good) and far behind cities outside of the US, but they’re making progress and more so than most US cities. The coming years will be fun to watch.” In particular, moving beyond painted bike lanes to protected infrastructure is a Portland goal and a needed improvement according to streets.mn’s most passionate Dutch cycling advocate.
In Rochester, MN Adam Ferrari reviews The 5 Stages of Grief (That There Isn’t More Parking): Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and, finally, Acceptance that there will never be enough parking. In the end, “More collective effort needs to be spent in establishing a robust transportation system, while at the same time we decrease the prioritization of the single occupancy parking trip to downtown.”
Other ideas, big and small
The Quiet Magic of Sticker Art by Andy Singer is a guide to those small-scale stick-on bits of graffiti/art/messaging you have probably seen on utility poles, railings, signs and many more places including types of stickers and some of the noteworthy sticker artists. Some may be looking forward to finding stickers armed with some new knowledge, although some commenters express concern about encouraging what can be seen as small-scale vandalism.
In Dense Development Belongs in Neighborhood Interiors Too, Alex Cecchini uses the proposed downzoning in the Wedge neighborhood as a jumping off point for discussing denser development away from busy streets and transit corridors (read more about specific opposition to the downzoning proposal on streets.mn here, here, and here). Allowing denser (the post does not stipulate a level of density) residential development would provide opportunities for renters to live on desirable quieter streets, integrate rental and owner-occupied housing, and help encourage a more walkable urban landscape while also trying to mitigate concerns about the impact. Commenters leap in with some detailed conversation about how this could or should work.
Links: More links from around the country from The Direct Transfer: Boston’s Two Halves, Urban Political History and More!
Map: Map Monday: Dakota and Ojibwe Map of Minneapolis is posted in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, “showing Native American trails and place names superimposed on the existing Minneapolis city boundaries.”
Get outside and enjoy Fall on your street or around your neighborhood, then think about writing about it for us. Have a great week!