Sunday Summary – April 22, 2018

It’s Earth Day! Earth Day is a great time to think about the kinds of places we want to live which are earth-friendly. Lots of information about walking, climate change, and big sustainability ideas this week:


Lots of walking-related posts this week! Enjoy our finally Spring-y weather and take some long urban walks with Max Hailperin Walking All the Streets in Eastern Elliot Park to continue his project of walking Minneapolis neighborhoods in alphabetical order or tag along with Paul Jahn Walking West River Parkway

Getting to the policy, politics, and priorities of walking: Dangerous Intersection Profile: Lake & Lyndale is Janelle Nivens’ followup to her request for input in March. Cross-posted from Our Streets Mpls, this post describes and discusses the challenges walkers and rollers face at this intersection and shares responses from the March survey.

Looking harder at sidewalk priorities and how the ADA impacts this, Janne Flisrand asks Does ADA Even Apply to Sidewalks? (also cross-posted from Our Streets Mpls) as she works on an ADA guide. The short answer is “yes,” but the longer answer is about planning and funding priorities, “I’m going to point right back at our priorities. We spend money on transportation all the time. And we find money for things some people think are important. Like, say, a stadium every two or three years. Or massive highway expansions. But we can’t seem to prioritize the most basic parts of our infrastructure, like sidewalks. Nor do we ever prioritize the most vulnerable in our communities. That’s why we had to pass the ADA 28 years ago. I hope to see the day when we live up to the purpose of that law, “to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.”

Lake and Lyndale

More transportation

Minnesota’s late season snow dump posed some challenges and delights in alternative transportation – by sled – as well as more observations for getting around in the snow by Jeremy Hop in April Blizzard – Struggles and Adventures!.

My Barriers to Biking Are The Same Reasons I Bike by Frances Stevenson highlights biking as an act of defiance, whether defying physical limitations, harassment, or infrastructure: “When I bike I show those who don’t believe bike infrastructure is worth the money or the space that I know it is worth the investment. Having bike infrastructure means I get to work safely. When I bike I show those who implemented it that I am grateful and I show myself that cars are not more convenient nor are they the only way to get around.

Continuing the conversation kicked off by Carol Becker a few weeks ago, Let’s Really Talk About Privilege in Transportation by Robin Garwood highlights two themes. First, transit is another way to get around which is sometimes neglected in the “cars vs. bikes” type of thinking. Next, many types of privilege from the sorts we cannot change, to the important privilege of being able to act now before climate change progresses too much further: “We have the privilege of deciding whether they live in a world with a stable, livable climate, or try to survive on a planet we have effectively set on fire. It is our privilege to live in a time before the worst effects of this self-imposed catastrophe. And with this privilege comes the responsibility to get it right.”

Alternative transportation in action on a Minneapolis side street.

Big idea

The Frosty Fish: A vision for the future of urban farming is Zach Ellsworth’s picture of ways the city and food supply could change sparked by a winter sojourn in a greenhouse cafe. Take a detailed tour of The Frosty Fish, “This greenhouse not only produces a whole lot of food on a meager budget of resources, but it serves as a space to help better connect city dwellers to the food they eat. And it’s a community gathering space, not only for cafe patrons, but for attendees of all the art shows, concerts, and movies we put on in the patio and stage area. In fact, we have a local act performing here tonight and tour participants get a discount, if any of you are interested. It is quite the experience to listen to music surrounded by so much. . . life, especially in the dead of winter.”

Persian wheel

Quick looks and a long ride

Chart: Chart of the Day: Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro Travel Mode Shares via the National Household Travel Survey.

Ride: Replacing Factories On the North End is another Wolfie Browender ride, this time 17.5 miles through Saint Paul’s Midway, Frogtown (Rondo), North End, and Como Park with more history and many photos.

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