Sunday Summary – May 14, 2017

Every Spring, there comes a day when I realize there’s shade again from the trees; that happened this week. For another Spring ritual, Stephanie Rouse takes us to The Annual MayDay Parade staged by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask puppet with many pictures, some history, and how the event carries out HOTB’s “brings people together for the common good through the power of puppet and mask performance.”

 

Flying birds winding throughout the parade

38th Street bike lanes

Adam Miller asks Why Even Have City Policies If You Can Legally Park in the 38th Street Bike Lane? in response to a plan to add bike lanes to 38th Street but allow parking in those lanes during certain hours. The Minneapolis Complete Streets policy has a clear modal priority framework where walking and biking are the highest priority and driving cars ranks lowest, but the pushback from 38th Street businesses has resulted in proposals to allow short-term parking in bikes lanes in front of these businesses during peak hours. The many comments with some strongly supporting keeping parking out of the bike lanes and some urging compromise. Adam follows up a couple of days later with Parking on 38th Street which documents the parking on 38th Street and the connecting streets to show parking is available if parking is prohibited and bike lanes installed on 38th Street.

38th Street around noon on March 18, 2017

Great outdoors

Central Central continues Max Hailperin’s walking alphabetically through all of the Minneapolis neighborhoods ending with a stop at Mama Sheila’s Soulfood Kitchen after passing great murals and graffiti, some interesting architecture, and lots of neighborhood character.

Sam Geer tells us about Nature’s Lawnmowers in Indian Mounds Park. A herd of goats has been deployed to nibble the buckthorn and other invasive species. “The challenge is that the goats eat not only the buckthorn, but also any desirable vegetation that exists in the vicinity. Goat Dispatch calibrates the number of goats and the size of the enclosed area to achieve the right level of browsing.  This ideally will control invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle while extracting the goats before they decimate the rest of the plant population.”

Urban goats

Transit

Al Davison advocates Scrutinizing Roads To The Same Degree As Transit. Where transit (and bike and pedestrian) projects must always justify their cost to taxpayers, road projects do not face the same sort of review. With particular emphasis on roadway expansions and wide roads in small towns, the post asks for much greater attention to the costs of roadway expansion and considering how expanding transit can help control costs. Lots of links in this post to current legislation, transit reports, and more as the Minnesota legislature considers increasing road and bridge funding, while limiting transit.

Mike Hicks reviews The Stagnant Investment in Amtrak, by Station Count noting Amtrak “has had its funding stuck in the doldrums ever since it was founded in 1971. There have been sporadic bursts of money to the government-sponsored company, mostly to invest in new locomotives and train cars and the occasional upgrade to the tracks on particular routes. However, there hasn’t been a sustained effort to repair and expand underlying infrastructure on a system-wide basis. This is reflected in the fact that the number of stations served by Amtrak has barely changed over time, in stark contrast to the growth in urban rail systems over the same period.”

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