Sunday Summary – May 27, 2018

Hot, hot, hot for Memorial Day weekend in Minnesota. What a good time to sit under a mature tree (perhaps on a bench) or take a slow trail ride after you read what happened last week on

Minneapolis 2040 discussion continues

Minneapolis 2040: Tree Edition is not really about the new comprehensive plan, but about planting trees now, so by 2040 the urban forest will be thriving. John Edwards reports the Forestry Division of the Minneapolis Park Board is planting trees now and you can request a tree, too. Commenters provide much more information on tree varieties available and other info about trees.

What “Two and a Half Stories” Actually Looks Like by Carol Becker claims, “The 2040 Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan has proposed that we open all single-family homes and duplexes to being bulldozed and replaced with fourplexes. This has, rightly, alarmed many people.  Some parts of the City would benefit from more density but indiscriminately bulldozing homes would destroy the fabric of many of our neighborhoods.” Using photos which supposedly demonstrate problems, the post continues to rail against the new plan. Commenters take a much more reasoned approach by distinguishing what will be allowed rather than required, disputing whether the photos of fourplexes are really that undesirable, and taking a deeper look at history.

Particular problems and projects

Saint Paul: Andy Singer takes a look at the response to collapse of a small section of The RiverCenter Parking Garage and is disturbed “The city is proposing to spend a total of $117.9 million, $60 million of it local money, on a parking garage with 2200 spaces. This comes to $54,000 per parking space. It’s a huge waste of public money at a time when Saint Paul has major budget shortfalls and many other human and infrastructure needs. What’s more, the city has more than adequate downtown parking capacity and excellent public transit.”

Edina: Edina’s Many Roundabouts will soon be joined by one more on West 69th Street, a minor arterial, and the variety of roundabouts and locations, writes Joe Totten, “show that Edina is willing to consider roundabouts in many locations, not limiting their application to lower volume roadways or intersections. The discussion on how the new roundabout will function is ongoing, and how it and West 69th Street fit within the Living Streets plan’s bike and pedestrian networks will be fun to watch, but the exciting thing for me is that Edina is showing how some very urban areas can apply roundabouts.”

Saint Paul, again: In The Kellogg Bridge Protected Bike Lanes, Eric Saathoff asks, “Have you ridden the protected bike lanes that already exist on the Kellogg / 3rd Street bridge connecting Saint Paul’s Lowertown and Dayton’s Bluff neighborhoods? No, me neither. In fact, they are closed on both ends because they’re actually just barriers to keep cars from using the entire, structurally insufficient bridge. Is there any reason that they couldn’t be opened up to serve as bikeways, however?” The post looks at some details and then asks for an answer.

Minneapolis: Dangerous Intersection: Franklin Ave E and Chicago Ave S continues the series cross-posted from Our Streets Minneapolis highlighting intersections which are dangerous and difficult for people walking and rolling with a post from Frances Stephenson.

Kellogg Street bridge

Beyond the Metro

Rochester City Council member Michael Wojcik provides Five Keys to Rochester’s North Broadway Debate introducing the project saying, “A lot has happened during Rochester’s North Broadway discussions, but I feel that much of the consternation is not about the project itself. Rather, people in Rochester are debating about which direction the city is heading. There is a group of people, both elected and not, who are clinging to the last strands of what they perceive as Rochester’s golden age. I think that’s a mistake.”  The rest of the post works to provide some nuanced thoughts about some of the sticking points.

North Broadway, Rochester MN

Big ideas

What the North Star Can Learn from the Lone Star, or, what Dana DeMaster learned about Austin, TX while there at a conference, “While I had been told a lot of positive things about the city, this post is about three things I was most impressed with: AMAZING bike infrastructure (was not expecting that at all), public art that built a sense of place, and benches.” Lots of photos show the variety of bike infrastructure, lots of public art, and places to sit (in the shade).

The “True Test” Of A Region’s Transit System Isn’t Serving Commutes says Alex Schieferdecker, but just one of the tests, and one which is easy to track, but which is too narrow, “by continuing to focus predominantly on serving commutes with transit, regional decision makers risk missing out on serving the over 80% of trips that are not commutes. Just as serving these trips is the “true test” of the entire transportation system, so too is it the “true test” of the region’s transit system. This game is played for big stakes. A transit system that serves more than commute trips is a transit system that has ridership that increases exponentially. It’s a transit system that becomes far more essential to its users.”

Benches and trees!

Look, walk, click

Walk: Walking All the Streets in Southern Field continues Max Hailperin’s quest to walk all 87 Minneapolis neighborhoods in alphabetical order.

Look: Chart of the Day: Minnesota Land Use by Cover Type via MPR News shows more than zoning: “Urban areas, which seem to me to be a combination of the pavement and the grass categories, are just a small percentage of the pie here. Leave the “developed” city, and you find a different kind of development dominating the state: rows and rows of crops, mostly corn and soybeans.”

Click: National Links: Dallas Plans Ignored from The Overhead Wire.

Minnesota Land Use


As you’re heading out around the Lakes in Minneapolis, or wherever people biking, walking, skating, rolling share space, consider Joe Loveland’s common sense guide to trail etiquette: A Trail Runner’s Confession: Five Things Trail Runners Need To Do to Be Safer and More Polite Trail Partners.


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