Sunday Summary – April 15, 2018

The weather is wintry, but you can still Join on the A Line Sunday, April 15! – that’s today at 2:00 pm! – to ride the A Line and hear from Katie Roth, aBRT manager from Metro Transit. And whether or not you ride the bus, do read the rest of last week on

Continuing conversation on the Minneapolis Comp Plan

Last week, Carol Becker’s post drew much criticism and even more comments; this week, writers respond with longer posts on the topic. First, the post also appeared as a Strib opinion piece, so We Read the Star Tribune Op-Ed Comments So You Don’t Have To: Minneapolis Planners Should Remember Some People Need to Drive and continue the public service of picking out the key themes in a low stress and user-friendly way.

More substantially, in Starter Homes Are Dead, Long Live Starter HomesScott Shaffer addresses Council members’ concerns that allowing small multi-family housing will help eliminate starter homes for young families by looking at the presumptions behind “starter” homes, data about housing prices, and concludes, “The goal, I hope we all agree, is to achieve decent and affordable housing in a convenient location for everyone who wants to live in the city. To get to that goal, we’ll have to expand our traditional conception of the starter home to include the multifamily housing (owner-occupied and rental) proposed in the draft comprehensive plan.”

Appropriating the form of Carol Becker’s post, Pine Salica‘s A Response To The “Privilege” of The Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan starts “I’m Pine Salica and I ride a bike” proceeding to itemize each of Becker’s points and describing how having a child, job circumstances, not owning a car, and more can support the Comprehensive Plan approach.

Small houses from the 1940s in Seward

Starter homes of yore

On the road again

A History of Minnesota’s Highways: Part Three continues Monte Castleman’s detailed story of Minnesota highways with the construction programs of the 1920s, the start of the US Highway numbering system, and the end of Auto Trails. Check out Part One and Two, too.

The Trunk Highway System layout in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1920s

The Trunk Highway System layout in Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1920s

Minneapolis places

Hennepin Avenue South: a Road Designed for Cars, Not People by Andrew Degerstrom highlights a public open house on The Hennepin Avenue reconstruction project which took place last week (it also links to a survey for your input by April 25, 2018), but also describes the corridor and takes a photographic walk along it to highlight needed changes to make Hennepin Avenue South between Franklin Avenue and Lake Street a pleasant and safe place for people.

My View Is Ruined But Things Are Fine by Galen Ryan is both a record of new development in his #Frankdale (Franklin and Lyndale) neighborhood and a reminder that people can adapt to change for the greater good, “There are other locations like #Frankdale across Minneapolis but access can be restricted if the city blocks housing. The change w”ill take some adjusting to and the process of change can be just downright burdensome, but the city is getting it right here. I am willing to put up with the turmoil of change knowing everything will be fine in the end, and I hope you will too.”

Hennepin Avenue South

Quick looks, deep listens, and longer walks

Walk and listen about neighborhoods. You can continue Walking All the Streets in Western Elliot Park with Max Hailperin as he works his way around all the Minneapolis neighborhoods and this week, you can listen to a podcast about neighborhoods with the latest Deep North Podcast – 84 Neighborhoods (Featuring Whittier).

Listen about Duluth: Podcast #111: A Vision for Duluth’s Superior Street with Ben Garland features a conversation between Bill Lindeke and Ben Garland, Duluth resident and small business owner, who has been organizing to change the design for Superior Street, downtown Duluth’s main street to make it more pedestrian friendly.

Listen to music (and watch): Saturday Music Video: Grounds For Violence for a snowy April Saturday.

Charts: Twin Cities Housing Affordability on a Global Scale “implies that the Twin Cities has more in common with Singapore than Cleveland, which is just plain silly. This is the kind of chart that makes people less informed” but by viewing information critically, perhaps we’ll be able to see when charts can mislead (see also Spurious Correlations). US Vacancy Rates versus Asking Rental Price  “shows trends in vacancy rate for new apartment construction separated out by price point.”

Links: National Links: Portlandia to Blame? click through for more links from The Overhead Wire to find out what Portlandia might have done.

Map: Map Monday: US Cities According to Zombie Defense Readiness should help guide economic development efforts.

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