a bollard

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!