A streets.mn Festivus

Tomorrow is Festivus! In the spirit of the celebration, we thought we’d start a round of Streets Festivus. Play along with us!

The Festivus Pole

We shall start the observance with a pole. While the traditional Festivus pole is aluminum, we feel that a proper streets Festivus pole for 2017 is a bollard. A bollard, free of tinsel or festive sweaters.

a bollard

via @wedgelive, Twitter

The Airing of Grievances

Next, we shall begin the Airing of Grievances! This is actually why we are starting on Friday, as once we get started the list is long.

  • The term “woonerf.” Woofnerfs are actually pretty great! But the term just invites mockery. Woonerf?
  • Every single Star Tribune not-so-hot take on the bike lanes of Minneapolis. Seriously. We get it already. The Strib hates the 26th-28th bike lanes, and the same 10 commenters all hate them, and hate all those law-breaking bicyclists.
  • Every motorist who honks at another motorist for obeying the NO RIGHT TURN ON RED sign. Whether you’re the motorist not taking out the pedestrian, or the pedestrian not getting run over, the honk is aggravating, especially in a state where people seem horn-averse even when the horn is a good idea! (I learned to drive in Illinois; the horn is essential.)
  • Joe Soucheray. So, the Pioneer Press is down to what, 3 actual reporters? But we still get regular grumpy dude who hates bikes columns. GRIEVANCE.
  • Community meetings about zoning. They destroy our faith in neighbors. “We got ours!” And then they don’t even shovel their walks while they show up at meetings complaining about neighborhood character being irreparably changed if some re-development happens. You know, not every character is good. Some character, in fact, sucks.

Our amazing Twitter followers offered a few key grievances to add to this year’s list:



This was not a specific Festivus grievance, but it should have been:

Feats of Strength

For Feats of Strength training, we would like to encourage all the people who don’t shovel their walks to get on that. Cities, get your plows on those parking-adjacent bike lanes already, wielding mighty plow blades. This author saw someone riding against traffic the other day because it was the only safe-ish part of a street without a sidewalk to ride on, and physics tells us riding against traffic is pretty terrible.

Your Turn

Dear readers, please share with us your Festivus observances, including any Festivus miracles you may see today and tomorrow. Given that it’s the weekend before Major Retail Holiday #panic, we suggest not looking for said miracles at strip mall parking lots. Up to you.

About Julie Kosbab

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005, and is no longer lonely in that calling. A past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association, she has 2 children and a garage full of bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations, or read her (seldom updated) blog at Ride Boldly!

7 thoughts on “A streets.mn Festivus

  1. Luke

    Grievance: Those that do not turn on their car lights at dawn and dusk, especially when their car is also dark grey.

    Miracle: The amount of people on bikes out! Way to go TC!

  2. Aaron IsaacsAaron Isaacs

    1. U-turning cars on Hennepin between Lake and 31st (I see them all the time)

    2. Anyone who graffities anything

    2. Tailgaters

  3. Dan


    All the smartest boy urbanists and their insufferable hashtags

    Urbanists not being able to free their minds from Neo-liberal city development

    People who attack journalists on twitter for not agreeing with them and their friends

    The continued belief by Yimby and Nimby alike that city development is some kind of moral culture war and there are only two distinct sides to this discourse.

    Actually false binary arguments in general. Don’t judge me bro. Or judge me bro. Or what is bro anyway bro. Why can’t we just perform our bro however we see fit and logical bro? Why the need for senseless hegemony?

    Just twitter in general. Shut it down. It’s never really helped. I don’t think it ever will.

    Train fares went up because we fund our transit system in the dumbest and most ironic of ways.

    Bike shop mechanic boys continue to largely disrespect the triple chainring.

    Feats of Strength

    Got the treadmill my Dad gave me into the basement. Only ended up under the 400lb treadmill twice. Did not lose fingers, not even the little ones that you stick out when you are trying to pretend to be a rich person.

    I continue to dislike Hockey.


    The Victoria Theatre got not one, not two, but count em THREE big grants. A historically designated sight that is *actually culturally significant* and not just an old Victorian in MacGroveland. Eat your heart out, Harry Smith! And they are gonna have 12 required performances a year to justify their funding!!! All of the music!!! All of the music!!!

    St Paul is having a fancy ball for our new mayor. I am going to wear a suit and try not to cry. If you come and shake my hand it will be clammy. This is just how my hands normally work.

    The Ford Site has an affordable housing requirement. (!!!!)

    Land Trusts are being discussed specifically as a method to address affordable housing in Saint Paul. Not private public developer blah blah blahs. Community Land Trusts: A sweet idea developed by followers of friggin Ghandi. Ghandi!!

    Preliminary Funding for Rondo Land Bridge: the dopest ****ing idea I’ve ever heard of for Saint Paul.

    They have pizza ovens at Frogtown Farms! And a sledding hill! And all of the plants!

    New community centers popping up all over Saint Paul complete with recording studios for the future Chance the Rappers in our midst (palace, Arlington Hills, whatever they end up naming the one in Frogtown). And NONE of them, count them ZERO are called the Miracle Center. (I know this is ironic to list as a miracle)

    They finished the Palace Theatre. I failed to not cry the first time I went there. It’s just so St Paul perfect: rugged and old and willing to show its scars openly like they virtue. Phoebe Bridges was amazing. The room was young and full of equal parts anxiety and hope, the latter being an act of defiance in the best of ways. I danced and held hands with the prettiest girl. I have yet to lose my sense of wonder and I’m not exactly young anymore.

  4. Dana DeMasterDanaD


    Craft beer. I resent beer.

    Car commercials. I am watching football for the first time in over a decade and car commercials are horrible.

    Things that are quaint or use extra letters to be quaint.

    Hudson, WI

    Feats of strength:
    I skied for 5 hours today fueled by a side of fries.
    I had not skied for three years.


    Everything Dan said above.

    Pedestrian leading intervals.

    The bike trails near my house were plowed without me having to call and complain. I felt love.

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