streets.mn held its 3rd Annual Writers’ Workshop yesterday which gathered some board members, editors, writers and people who will be writers very soon. The pizza was delicious and the conversation excellent on such issues as helping streets.mn build its culture, what streets.mn can do to help writers write (or get that first post published), practical help with images and tech stuff, and some other discussion of transportation and land use issues which interested the people who attended. Look for posts describing some of the outcomes in greater detail in the near future and even if you didn’t attend, you can still write.
Andy Singer reviews former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s book “Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution” saying “Sadik-Khan’s main achievement during her tenure was vastly expanding New York City’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. In six and a half years, she and the city added nearly four hundred miles of bike lanes and protected bikeways. They also added the largest bikeshare system in the United States and around sixty new pedestrian plazas, including a huge one in Times Square, the heart of New York City. What’s more, relative to the city’s road, bridge and ferry investments, Sadik-Khan did all these bicycle and pedestrian improvements for (as she says) “the budgetary equivalent of change found between the sofa cushions.” The post summarizes the book while also showing how what worked in New York (and how it was made to work) is relevant for Saint Paul as it begins to implement its Bike Plan.
Eric Anondson looks at the Edina and Hopkins approaches to a road closure in Closing Highway 169 in the Era of Smartphones: Two Different Responses where “no one understood the effect of the smartphone GPS apps. You can put up “local traffic only” signs (as you will see in my photo tour below), but the modern smartphone app knows better. An extensive series of photos “show how Edina and Hopkins each dealt with the smartphone routing through their respective neighborhoods.”
Written to planners by transportation planner (but former salesman) Jason Brisson, Our Meetings Suck evaluates how public meetings don’t work so well. The five mistakes highlighted here are (1) not visualizing yourself attending the meeting (and thinking a ways it could be better), (2) not realizing communicating in person is different from communicating in writing, (3) trying to cover too much material, (4) talking when listening would be better, and (5) not thinking enough about what would make a meeting valuable enough for people to attend. Commenters bring up some recent meetings for the Saint Paul Ford site as examples as well as considering things like holding meetings in places reachable by transit at times more people could attend.
Two more walks in Minneapolis with Max Hailperin proceeding through the alphabet to “C” is for Camden Industrial Area: Nature, History, Liberian Food, and Even Some Industry and Southern CARAG. Both walks took place last summer and are filled with flowers as well as some history, architecture, and people along the way.