Sunday Summary – March 5, 2017


Have you looked at our events calendar? lists events related to our mission of expanding the conversation on transportation and land use (if you are hosting an event fitting this description or know about one, please send details to our events editor – as well as sponsored events.  Today, March 5, for example, you could go to From Intersections to Intersectionality at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral: “What began for Lars Christiansen as a desire to make it easier to ride bicycles in one’s community led to commitments to addressing broader sets of issues and problems through work with Friendly Streets Initiative and the Rondo Land Bridge. From the street in front of your house to communities throughout the Twin Cities, the bicycle is a means of movement, literally and metaphorically.” Or, on Tuesday, March 7, you could go to a Ford Site Zoning and Concept plan update (and see Bill Lindeke’s Riverview Report update below for transit possibilities for this site).

Regular features

More walks from Max Hailperin fromWestern Bottineau to Eastern Bryant as he walks all 87 neighborhoods in Minneapolis in alphabetical order and more links from the Direct Transfer with National Links: Your Best Friend the Autonomous Vehicle.

The Quarterly Transit Report – March 2017 from Aaron Isaacs starts with the heading “The retrenchment begins” as service cuts begin to reflect drops in ridership and budget cuts on the horizon at the Legislature. The post also provides Metro Transit rationale for how they make cuts and the comments offer some suggestions and critique about particular routes as well as larger scale policy.

The Book Worm’s Mini-Van (in the Bryant neighborhood)

The Book Worm’s Mini-Van (in the Bryant neighborhood)

Minneapolis, Saint Paul and beyond

In Saint Paul, Bill Lindeke highlights Four Quick Things about the Latest Riverview Report on the Riverview Corridor transit project. The questions to be answered are: (1) what mode (train or bus), (2) where will the line cross the river, and (3) will the line follow the abandoned CP rail line? Bill’s four quick things to think about when trying to answer those questions: (1) Parking differences between modes are minimal, (2) much gets lost in the numbers including the benefits of each choice, (3) the choice of which type of rail is not relevant when reconstructing West 7th, and (4) rather than choosing one river crossing, choose both Ford Parkway and Hwy 5. The comments consider the quick things in slower detail and expand the conversation. After two failed attempts “This is the charmed “third time”, and my hopes are high that this is finally the year when Saint Paul invests in high-quality transit that will improve lives for people who travel to and from downtown, and through the West 7th Street neighborhoods.”

Tough Love for Downtown Minneapolis starts with a trip to the Oak Grill in the Minneapolis Macy’s (Marshall Fields, Daytons) department store before it closed at the end of January and the store closes this month, but is a look back to downtown when sidewalks were busy and skyways were not there. But, this post is also a look ahead to how next year’s Super Bowl might spark some changes which would persist beyond the game. Commenters have some diagnoses of the problem, some suggestions (food trucks, among others) and some examples from other places.

In Little Canada’s “Other” Transportation Infrastructure: Transit, Part OneAl Davison anticipates a three-part infrastructure review for his town: “I have split my infrastructure review into three main parts (Transit, Walking, and Biking); the first part will be focused on the suburb’s transit infrastructure, which is what I now mainly rely on to get to work. I will conclude my review with a post summarizing my overall findings along with more of my personal experiences and thoughts.” This week, it’s transit options within the suburb of Little Canada with lots of data on ridership and comparisons to other metro locations.

Nicollet Mall in Another Era (courtesy MNHS)

Nicollet Mall in Another Era (courtesy MNHS)

Policy proposals

Joseph Totten heads Into the Weeds on Safety and Cell Phones with the simple but strong proposal: “Minnesota should ban all cell phone use while driving. It is dangerous. Hands-free devices do not increase safety over handheld devices.” This comes in response to recently proposed legislation to ban hand-held devices which is insufficient because (studies cited) “we suck at driving with distraction. Handheld devices are bad, hands-free devices are bad, texting is atrocious, so why are we stopping the proposed ban at handheld devices? To increase safety, we need to make sure everyone is attentive to the task at hand, and this includes banning handheld AND hands-free use.” Commenters raise 4th Amendment (search and seizure) concerns if law enforcement officers could search phones for recent calls while others note road design can help force driver attention, too.

And that’s the week on – have a great one!



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