Welcome to June, but first, a look back at the last week of May on the site:
Hopefully, you saw the message from the Board of streets.mn — we’re in the process of updating our mission, and we’d love your input. Please click over and share your vision for streets.mn, and also share a thought about a great place.
Jump Starting the Benefits of ADUs in Minneapolis says Bruce Brunner, landlord and contractor, says changing the curent owner-occupied requirement and, “Allowing experienced landlord owners, in good standing with the city, the ability to create new, stable and safe housing options for individuals and families makes sense. Not everyone wants to live in large apartment buildings and the key to solving our current rental housing shortage is adding a diversity of new living options and having these options available throughout the city.” The post provides useful info about ADUs generally as well noting that Portland saw a dramatic uptick in ADU permits after the owner-occupied requirement was lifted.
The Quarterly Transit Report – June 2018 from Aaron Isaacs provides the latest report on changes in Metro Transit routes and planning. This time around, the June 6 schedule changes are previewed along with information about the 35W construction closures.
More theoretically, Tom Basgen advocates we should Abolish Transit Fares to benefit everyone, “Minnesota needs to encourage people to make choices that benefit the people around them. With more folks sharing transportation our air will be cleaner, our roads safer, and our wallets fatter.”
Eric Saathoff announces The Death of 4-Lane Death Roads following the decision to make the 4-3 lane conversion on Saint Paul’s Maryland avenue permanent, “Given the success we’ve experienced on Maryland Avenue there is a clear precedent for each of these streets going forward. Unless the ADT is well above Maryland Avenue’s 23,000, it should either automatically be reprogrammed to 3 lanes (even 2 lanes?) or at least tested for a reduction as Maryland Avenue was. The safety benefits to drivers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders is too clear to ignore.” And check out the post for many links to previous posts on streets.mn about 4-Lane Death Roads and 4-3 conversions, too.
Julie Kosbab follows up on her post following the crash killing a bicyclist at Snelling and Summit Avenues with Summit Avenue Fatality: No Charges, No Change? after the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office announced no charges would be filed against the bus driver involved in the crash pointing to, “The statement of the SPPD, based on eyewitness interview, amounts to “cyclist’s fault.” This makes it easy for state and local agencies to minimize the need to redesign the intersection, especially in the face of neighbor opposition. This is not the first fatality there, and there have been other, life-changing injuries in that intersection. But they’ll point to cyclists blowing red lights, and shrug.” Comments consider fault, street design, law, and more.
Dangerous Intersection: 3rd Ave & 16th St is another post (more in the series here) originally appearing on Our Streets Minneapolis blog as part of their series highlighting and describing the most dangerous intersections in Minneapolis: “The particular dangers of this intersection all have their root in the confusing design of this section. It doesn’t work for drivers, transit riders, cyclists or pedestrians. It fosters the sort of dangerous driving that causes so many of the surface-street accidents in our city, and the problems aren’t anything that requires a major redesign- a simple repaint of some of the traffic lanes and a reconfiguration of the traffic light sequencing would relieve a lot of the pressure.”
Autonomous Cars Can Be Safe or Mass-Marketable, Not Both says Christa Moseng following up on a post from two weeks ago, “As a matter of practical realism, self-driving cars can and will be safe only directly in inverse proportion to their marketability. That is, you can either have a safe autonomous vehicle, or you can have a mass-marketable one that drives the way contemporary human American passengers and drivers want them to drive, but not both. The reason for this is simple: humans are unsafe drivers, and the customs of the roadway reflect that.”
Traffic & Highways
21st Century Southdale Vehicle Collapse by Eric Anondson takes a look at some numbers to address fears of congestion near the Southdale Mall, “Many neighbors of the shopping centers still object to redeveloping the empty stores and vacant retail parking lots to housing because of their fears about congestion. They don’t believe that traffic is truly reduced despite closing stores and windswept pavement. Among the objections to The Estelle towers along France was that the 152 units would overwhelm the Southdale area with empty nesters driving.” Yet, the MnDOT traffic counts show traffic dropped near the mall suggesting perhaps more housing would not overwhelm the area with new traffic.
Monte Castleman brings us Part Four in his series on the history of Minnesota’s Highway system. We learn about the 1933 system renumbering, and the rise of the ideas that motoring could be fun, and it could also be fast.
Quick looks, long walk
Map: Map Monday: Minneapolis New Construction vs. Land Use Zoning is a graphic response to last week’s complaint about the Minneapolis Comp Plan opening the door to “bulldozing” homes for multi-family housing. The map shows the current bulldozing reality is different with “the vast majority of new construction permits are located in areas zoned for single-family housing. This is also known as the “teardown problem” and there are boatloads of digital ink devoted to debating this issue online on various neighborhood group pages and forums.”