Minneapolis By Night

Sunday Summary – December 17, 2017

A Festive Thanks For the streets.mn Winter Fundraiser! and to all of you who attended and/or donated to streets.mn at our annual festive fundraising festivities. Although the fun is over, we still need your support to fund website upgrades and to hire a creative person to help support all our volunteer writers. There’s a newly orange button to your right which you can click to make a donation at any time. But on to the week on streets.mn

Winter Festivities – watching The Theater for Public Policy


Saint Kate’s Parking Lot Wants to Pave the Trees says Tom Basgen. Once upon, Saint Kate’s thwarted Saint Paul’s plans to route Prior Avenue through the campus (“a charmingly obstinate Saint Paul political maneuver and a strong refusal of putting pavement where pavement doesn’t belong”), but the university “is now planning on doing the paving itself, this time in the form of a surface parking lot smack dab in the middle of the picturesque woods next to the quaintly-named Dewdrop Pond.” The comments bear reading which some back and forth about parking minimums, educational institutions’ parking policies, Saint Kate’s situation in particular, and more.

Transit, night and day

Jeff Christenson offers A Defense of Metro Transit’s Superb Owl Transit Plan in the face of the social media backlash about transit during the upcoming Super Bowl. Read this for a detailed look at the planning for the event, the transit choices made, security issues, and demands by the NFL. Although the Super Bowl will certainly disrupt transit and much else in Downtown Minneapolis, blaming Metro Transit is not entirely appropriate (but communication about the plan was less than adequate). Commenters consider security more generally and other possible choices which could have been made.

Saturday Morning Adventure on Central Avenue is not really about transit, but taking the bus is how a lovely Saturday morning gets rolling for Jeremy Hop and daughters. The post takes us on a fun bus ride to Central Avenue shopping, lunch, and a look at how one family enjoys getting around the city.


The Great Bicycle Helmet Controversy unpacks some of the beliefs and misconceptions about helmets where “Everyone points to the original study saying they reduce head injuries by 85% or tells anecdotes about how a helmet “saved their life” without any actual evidence (and in fact a helmet is designed to destruct dramatically in a crash, a head not so much).” Following up his earlier post on the history of helmets and their use in Minnesota, Monte Castleman looks at the original study (and its limitations), helmet laws and ridership, risk tolerance, bike sharing, and the role of infrastructure in safety to suggest “A reasonable conclusion for all this is that as an individual you might be safer in a helmet provided it does not induce you to ride less safely in other respects.  The benefits are not as great as portrayed, and since all of life involves risk of some sort, and the risk of bicycling isn’t that great. Bicycle helmet use should be an individual choice rather than forced to by laws or societal pressure.”

Quick looks

Charts: Two charts this week with Chart of the Day: Share of US Rental Construction by Price and Chart of the Day: Extreme Poverty in Senegal which, although not in (or even near) Minnesota, shows some interesting mapping of poverty which could apply anywhere.

Links: More links from The Direct Transfer National Links: Apple Criticism, Boomtowns, and Better Transit.

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 BetseyBuckheit.com.