Sunday Summary – September 17, 2017

By the next Sunday Summary, early voting will have begun in Minneapolis and Saint Paul elections.  There’s a new addition to the 2017 Voter Guide with a response from Saint Paul mayoral candidate Trahern Crews this week: Voter Guide – Saint Paul Mayoral Candidate Trahern Crews.  Another light week, but here’s the haul:

Three Things the Twin Cities Would Do if it Really Wanted an Amazon HQ by Bill Lindeke distinguishes the vast Amazon fulfillment centers from the headquarters where “for high-paying high-skill work, Amazon really values walkable and transit-oriented urbanism.” The post considers what Minneapolis and Saint Paul could do to develop the sort of walkable, transit rich urban environment which would be fertile ground for tech companies including transit, housing, and really building bikeable, walkable streets (see the related chart, too).

Terrorist Cars contrasts recent vehicular terrorism (London, Barcelona and more) with the less publicized but more prevalent everyday loss of life: “As horrible as these attacks are, they are nothing compared to the daily carnage motorists inflict on pedestrians and cyclists around the world. Worldwide, cars are one of the top ten leading causes of death, particularly for children. In the US last year, nearly 6000 pedestrians were killed by cars and over 100,000 were injured. This is part of a general upward trend that’s evident here in Minnesota and in Saint Paul. So far, the city eclipsed 2016’s pedestrian crash totals. At last check, 128 people have been hit in 2017, compared with 114 in 2016.” Andy Singer, as always, provides cartoon illustrations to make his point, too.

For the start of the school year, Beyond the Big Yellow Bus got Dana DeMaster thinking: “So, while watching the total chaos of cars and harried parents at my children’s school, I became curious about how school choice, school transportation policies, and family circumstances and values impact how children get to school. I talked to five parents with children different kinds schools, with different aged children, and different work commitments, as well as a day care provider, find out more about those intersections.” The post features interviews with parents (and more stories are told in the comments, too) which reflect the complexity of decision-making as well as the culture of driving.

The maze of school transportation.

“A History of Future Cities” Review by Zachary Wefel is a book review of the 2014 Daniel Brook book: “A History of Future Cities focuses on four “artificial” cities — St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai — that were created and then rapidly expanded in an attempt to modernize (in the limited sense of facilitating technological advancement or meeting Western criteria for modernity) the nations which they are in. The cities were built deliberately alien from their surroundings, as imitations of Western cities in hopes that such imitation would result in modernization, or because the ruling imperialists preferred their home cities even when in a foreign country.  Each of the cities would surpass this limited idea of modernity and their combined stories provide a vision of the role of the city in shaping our histories.”


And two charts this week: Chart of the Day: Projected Decline of Individual Car Ownership which “shows a projected shift away from individual car ownership and to something the report titles TaaS, or “transport-as-a-service.” (Think Uber/Lyft/Hourcar…)” and Chart of the Day: US Cities by Techie-ness versus Affordability which shows “US cities plotted along two axes. On the Y-axis, you have what they call “the good stuff,” a metric that combines education, tech investment, biking / transit, and other economic measures that match the Silicon Valley / Bay area. On the X-axis, you have “the bad stuff”, high home prices and inequality, plus long commutes.”


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