Sunday Summary – April 30, 2017

Closing out the month, this week features 5 posts from Macalester students written as part of their work in the “Bicycling the Urban Landscape” course. This is the third semester we’ve posted student work (read all of them here); thanks for your comments and questions which help include students in the conversation on transportation and land use. Should there be any other teachers out there who would like to think about how their students could join the conversation, contact us.

Macalester student perspectives

Macalester students looked at a wide range of urban issues from bike infrastructure with Josh Koh’s call to Copenhagenize Twin Cities Bike Infrastructure by adding bike parking, separated bike lanes and more, Kaisy Jo Nunez’ look at Summit Avenue bike lanes in particular in Summit Avenue Blues, and David Munkvold’s techy consideration of cold climate infrastructure in On the Surface: Cold Climate Considerations.  Ted Chisholm looks at a location close to his college home in Perils and Possibilities: Crossing the Street at Macalester College and Christian Adams’ takes a bigger picture look to ask What Happened to the Bike? The Lack of Diversity on the Midtown Greenway.  Thanks to Professor Margot Higgins for working with to get these perspectives published.

The situation facing students seeking to cross Grand without the benefit of marked crosswalks

Big stories

The Progressive Case for Up-Zoning Minneapolis is a long read but well worth it this election season. Alex Cecchini observes that “for too long, urban progressives – the type of people who vote overwhelmingly for liberal candidates and causes election after election – have waged a mostly winning battle against land use reforms that match our values. We need to reverse course.” Up-zoning is no panacea, but “on the whole, up-zoning is unambiguously a policy to support if you really care about progressive outcomes.”  Up-zoning is defined, and its effects on jobs, the environment, housing affordability and accessibility, racial justice, and the tax base all aligned with the progressive goals of working for the common good and building a city which works for all residents of Minneapolis.  The post includes lots of links to data, additional perspectives, and more, plus there’s some in-depth discussion in the comments about housing affordability, parking, and more.

How Saint Paul’s 8 80 Vitality Fellowship Spread a Vision of Equity, Prosperity & Fun tells about Saint Paul’s first (and unique) 8-80 Vitality Fellow Margaret Jones whose mission is to create events, programs and innovations to build social connnections across the city. Over 18 months, she has “uncorked a stream of placemaking initiatives. She was directly involved in more than a dozen major community-building projects, from the police department’s successful campaign to curb pedestrian deaths to the restoration of a wetland in a lower-income neighborhood with new affordable housing nearby.” Read the (extensive) list of projects the Fellow has led or participated in around the city, too.

This building has accessible units. The houses surrounding it do not.

Particular places and projects

Stephanie Rouse reports there is No Shortage of Development in the Halloween Capital since “During the recession, the City of Anoka bought up properties, prepared the land, and quietly waited for the market to come back. Fast forward to 2017, and Anoka is booming. The City has many features that make it a development destination.” Road projects as well as much other private development is reviewed; commenters question whether the road project in particular is sustainable development or boondoggle.

Dear Mortenson: Please Don’t Name an Apartment Building YOLO begs Matt Eckholm. 333 Hennepin is a new apartment building which maybe will, but hopefully won’t, be the YOLO (or just YOLO?) sparking a discussion of “acronames” and millenials and more.

New Signs Encourage Walking along the Green Line Corridor – Matt Privratsky tells us about the Green Line Challenge project he instigated to “improve walkability in neighborhoods along the Green Line by putting easy to understand signage throughout the entire corridor” with signs which directed walkers to specific stations, indicated how far the walk would be and how long it would take, and provided a map. The signs are now being installed, so check it out.

Quick looks, longer listens and long walks

Listen: Election podcasts continue (see the 2017 Voter Guide for all of them) with Bill Lindeke’s conversation in Podcast #101: Minneapolis’ Ward 11 with Erica Mauter.

Walk: Continue walking Minneapolis neighborhoods with Max Hailperin with Cedar-Riverside 2: Medical Center, Riverside Park, and Augsburg College.

Look: The cool hand-drawn map of North America from Anton Thomas includes, of course, the Upper Midwest which you can see  in Map Monday: Hand-Drawn Map of North America, Minnesota Regional Edition.


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