As we cruise into the middle of January, alternating deep freeze and spring-link temperatures, here’s an opportunity to submit (by Thursday, January 18) to the Call for Proposals: Inaugural Bike + Walk Minnesota Conference where “for the first time ever, this year the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota is adding an explicit pedestrian focus to its 2018 conference, the appropriately titled Bike + Walk Minnesota Conference (formerly the PedalMN Conference) which will be held April 29 – May 1 in Rochester.” And here’s last week on streets.mn:
Big ideas to talk about
Having to Choose Personal Safety over Civic Engagement points to potential obstacles to civic engagement using the example of Saint Paul’s policy for public comment: “It’s a conversation I’ve seen happen repeatedly: An issue arises in St. Paul that many of us care about and it gets to the point where public comment is taken at a city committee or the City Council. Then some women who have voiced support or concerns, depending on the issue, say they will stop short of sending in formal comments by email. Why? Because the city asks for your address for the public record.” The post also notes streets.mn’s editorial policy which for a full name unless approved by the editor as also making it harder for some people to participate. Commenters consider the need for protecting more vulnerable people with other values of accountability and high quality information.
Billboard Proposal is “Rash That Won’t Go Away” in downtown Minneapolis. John Edwards wonders why this is the case: “The proposal was unanimously rejected by the Planning Commission in September, with near-universal negative reaction from commissioners. In October, the proposal lacked the votes to pass the City Council’s Zoning & Planning Committee. Yet the plan came back stronger and more expansive in December.” The Planning Commission is seeking additional public input before voting again on January 22, 2018.
Hospitals Race to the Cornfields builds on earlier streets.mn posts about schools leaving for the fringes of town to consider why hospitals are increasingly located at the edge. Monte Castleman looks at changes to hospitals (such as demand for space-hungry private rooms and medical technology), neighborhood impact, and the limitations to remodeling which make relocating make more sense.
A New Vision Zero for St. Paul: Part 5 – Enforcement continues Michael Daigh’s series on what steps Saint Paul could and should take to become a Vision Zero city by looking at enforcement (with eye toward exposing the presumptions and biases inherent in how we do it now): “If we implemented the other components of Vision Zero, and created a community that was not only less car-centric, but also one in which it simply wasn’t as possible to do harm with a motor vehicle, maybe we could enforce better…Maybe in this way, streets that are more just and equitable can be a small step towards a society that is more just and equitable.
John Edwards looks at the 2016 failed attempt to save a parking lot in Acme Comedy: The Parking Crisis That Wasn’t. The rhetoric for preserving the parking was typical in predicting great harm, but it turns out business is better than even at Acme: “This dynamic plays out on a smaller scale every week in neighborhoods across Minneapolis. Parking concerns are pervasive in a changing city. But people don’t usually pay attention long enough to check predictions against reality. We get headlines that say Neighborhood Threatened by Change. We never get the follow-up headline years later: Oops, Things Are Actually Just Fine.”
Quick looks and a long walk
Charts: Chart of the Day: The Great Cube of Parking Logic is “a three-dimensional chart that lays out the dominant affective trajectories of parking logic. Starting at the origin point, you can see three “directions” extending outward. These are the primary axes of parking logic, showing the dominant attractors of narrative condensation within US urban and transportation discourse: “walking like one block”, “paying $4”, and “nothing else to talk about.” Also Chart of the Day: Migration by Cohort, Metro Area, 2010-2015 points to issues in Greater Minnesota for attracting younger workers to those areas.
Links: More links from around the country via The Direct Transfer: National Links: Subway Costs, Hinterland Connections, and Upzoning