Via Kevin Gallatin’s Twitter feed, here’s a chart that shows some different “cold weather” cities and their commuting mode-share.
Gallatin plopped the Ford site targets and Highland, Saint Paul status quo into the chart to compare it with similar places around the world. He writes that “some say the Ford Site plan has unrealistic expectations of non-car use in a cold-weather city. Residents of these cold cities & I disagree.”
Personally, I’m with Gallatin. It’s true that, far from the moderating effects of oceans, Minneapolis/Saint Paul has one of the more extreme climates for a large city. But I think that doesn’t mean we need to remain stuck in our cars, or build elaborate skyways, domes, or indoor malls to escape our atmospheric fates. There are a few terrible weather days, but many more that are wonderful and most are pleasant if you have the right clothing. We shouldn’t let winter be an excuse for misanthropic urban design.
For example, check out the blankets I spotted on the patio at Saint Paul’s Moscow on the Hill the other day. That’s an old European trick to help people enjoy outdoor dining, even when the weather might be a little bit nippy.
More of this please.