The Garden and The Rose

Sunday Summary – October 23, 2016


Only one more Sunday Summary before Halloween, three more Summaries before the General Election (November 8, but you can vote early in Minnesota) and before Daylight Savings Time ends (November 6) and five Summaries before the next board meeting (scheduled for December 3; these meetings are open to readers and members). The Board met on October 15 to do routine business and some strategic planning; minutes will be available once approved at the next meeting. The Board likes feedback from readers; comment below or use the contact form to let us know your thoughts.


A Better Washington Avenue Now, Not Later is a request for input and support from Galen Ryan for Hennepin County to narrow vehicle lanes on Washington Avenue to allow the protected bike lane currently planned between Hennepin and 5th Street to extend to I-35 making the case that Washington is a local street, not just a vehicle corridor, and better bike lanes would make the street safer and friendlier for the people who live, work, and use the street.

Halfway to Xanadu – Employer Bicycle Parking is Dana DeMaster’s catalog and analysis of the types of bike parking provided by local employers ranging from the excellent to the not so great: “A combination of accessible, secure, and sheltered was something all the bicyclists wanted, but all three was often difficult to come by. The gold standard is when the parking does all those things and is welcoming to new bicyclists.” Many photos illustrate the range of facilities along with observations about challenges and improvements.

Secure, indoor parking on the loading dock. Notice which rack people are using. (Photo Credit - Dana DeMaster)

Secure, indoor parking on the loading dock. Notice which rack people are using. (Photo Credit – Dana DeMaster)

A sense of place, or not

Proving a Sense of Place is Sam Newberg’s attempt to articulate just what the oft-stated, but seldom explained “sense of place” means beyond (as with Potter Stewart and pornography) “I’ll know it when I see it.” High quality places check most of these boxes “good basic architecture, a high GDA [Gehl Door Average], wide sidewalk, transit service, street trees and calm traffic” and this post provides a photo tour of a couple of good places in Minneapolis.

Bill Lindeke visits the Boston area and finds Boston’s Odd Squares Offer a Vision for West 7th Street. In particular, Davis Square in Somerville offers some inspiration for West 7th Street in Saint Paul to improve the sense of place. “The key to a places like Davis is that it uses infrastructure to shift the driving culture. ‘Re-thinking’  how we see the spaces that surround us isn’t just something mental, but happens in the concrete and brick of the sidewalks and streets” which could be done closer to home.

A Response To “Creating Healthy Cities” takes on an article published in Ohio Business Magazine which advocates for a vision of healthy cities by “suburbanizing” them. Matt Eckholm provides multiple examples of what could be characterized as suburbanization in the Twin Cities which had much less than healthy results and would not pass Sam Newberg’s tests for high-quality places.

Classic Streetcar Commercial Building in Minneapolis - Good Sense of Place

Classic Streetcar Commercial Building in Minneapolis – Good Sense of Place

A sense of community

Janne Flisrand (who has already showed us how small-scale urban gardening grows community on her own street) finds The Garden at The Rose Grows More than Food. The Rose is a 2015 apartment complex and its garden is the 3rd Hope Community garden. 2016 is the first year for this garden, and Janne talked with garden staff and residents in the garden to find out more about the garden, the people, and the community and says “Let’s grow more food in our neighborhoods.”

A Miraculous North Minneapolis Bus Ride by new writer Tamara Jorell (she also posts at her own blog My Blonde Life in the Hood) is the story of  her daughters’ bus ride which was interrupted by a hit and run incident involving a boy leaving the bus, the human community pulling together to comfort each other, and the anxiety of not knowing whether the boy was all right (and how that question was answered).

The Garden at the Rose

The Garden at the Rose

Quick looks

Map Monday:  Minneapolis Low-density Neighborhoods with Good Transit Service “shows that big chunks all over the city are both zoned for low-density residential and has more access to jobs by transit than 90% of the metro” as a way of visualizing the point made in last week’s post arguing for allowing more density away from busy streets in neighborhood interiors because (among other reasons) living on a transit corridor is not required for good transit service.

Chart: Parking Prices in US Metros vs. Transit Usage plots the relative cost of parking in major metros and makes some observations about how that cost correlates with transit use.

And that’s the week on As always, we welcome new writers – whether commenting on posts or writing new content – so see our updated Write page for additional information. 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