Sunday Summary – December 11, 2016 Fundraiser: THANK YOU! recaps the December 1 Fundraiser – about 50 people attended and $1400 raised! Thanks to those who helped put on the event and those who gave. Don’t forget you can still donate to at anytime to help us achieve our goals of upgrading the website and hiring an editor.

Walking and riding

Two posts address the Sunday, November 27, 2016 death of Barbara Ann Mahigel as she tried to cross Nicollet Avenue and both focus on prevention.  In  Preventing Future Fatalities on Glenwood and NicolletMatthew Hendricks looks back and observes, “While we cannot go back in time and re-decide how to build Nicollet Avenue, the City can learn from the experience, and prioritize pedestrian safety measures in future street redesigns” starting with decisions for reconstructing Glenwood Avenue due this past week. Galen Ryan is sharper in A Preventable Death on Nicollet, Make No Mistake about the need for change and the speed at which it happens, “Any time someone with sense has tried to provide safety enhancements for pedestrians, business leaders worry about their customers’ parking, drivers worry about their travel times, and engineers worry about someone sitting in traffic.”

Walker Angell asks Do We Really Want Funding For Bicycle Projects? and answers by rejecting funding bicycle (and pedestrian) facilities as special extras and saying “We need to think about it differently. Not as bicycle projects or pedestrian projects or people with disabilities projects or guardrail projects, but as one comprehensive transportation and space project. Mitigating the negative impacts imposed by motorists must be a core element of traffic engineering and of every roadway, not an optional add-on.” [emphasis in the original]

More entertainingly, Janelle Nivens is inspired by Gilmore Girls and their walkable TV-town to ask readers to Share Your Favorite On-Screen Walking Scenes and you can find some suggestions for great on-screen walking (and bicycling).

"Sorry Mate, we only get funding for the bridge. Just stay within the lines and you'll be OK. If you want curbs or guardrails you'll need to get special funding for that." (Photo of Nagoya Flood Bridge: Unknown origin)

“Sorry Mate, we only get funding for the bridge. Just stay within the lines and you’ll be OK. If you want curbs or guardrails you’ll need to get special funding for that.” (Photo of Nagoya Flood Bridge: Unknown origin)

Intentional communities

Two posts this week take up the issue of intentional communities in advance of the Minneapolis City Council vote to change zoning laws to allow groups of adults to live together (subject to certain conditions) on December 9, 2016.  Peter Bajurny writes Intentional Communities: Racist by Default? with concerns about selective enforcement of regulations for “determining whether a community was “intentional” or not. My take-away from this discussion was that the hard rules set out in the ordinance were more guidelines that wouldn’t be enforced than actual hard and fast requirements. Much like lurking and spitting laws gave police officers a tool to unfairly target communities of color, this ordinance gives housing inspectors and overly concerned neighbors a tool they can use to unfairly target particular groups of people living together.” There’s some pushback and agreement in the comments.

John Edwards takes a different tack in “Intentional Communities”: A Path to Legal Status for White People by observing, “it’s an improvement on the status quo, the proposed ordinance legalizing intentional communities uses some odd criteria in order to limit the kind of household that qualifies” including significant procedural hoops to jump in order to become an intentional community which favor people with the time and money to navigate the system. The post includes several video clips from public meetings where the proposed ordinance is discussed plus some additional good discussion in the comments section.

Minneapolis' 1924 definition of a family was surprisingly liberal.

Minneapolis’ 1924 definition of a family was surprisingly liberal.

Quick looks and longer listens

Map: Map Monday: The Great Twin Cities Megaregion is a “bottom-up map that was generated from analyzing 130 million commuter patterns and narrowing those trips into a series of ‘megaregions’ around the country” where the Twin Cities extends to most of Minnesota as well as the edges of neighboring states.

More Links: National Links! Nomination for DOT Post, The New Wal-Mart and a Really Big Bus from The Direct Transfer.

Latest podcast: Bill Lindeke talks energy with J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director for Fresh Energy in Podcast #94: The Future of Renewable Energy Policy with J. Drake Hamilton.


And that’s the week on Thanks again to donors at our fundraiser; we’d love to turn more readers into members to enable better content and more conversation about land use and transportation. As always, we also welcome contributions from new writers to continue discussions or start some new ones.  A polar vortex is forecast for Minnesota this week, so stay warm and keep reading!

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