If you haven’t already responded (or would like to answer again – as many times as you wish) to streets.mn’s group brainstorming to update our mission statement, Please do Help streets.mn Change and Thrive — What are your Place-Values? Tell us what you dream and fill in the blank: “I want to live in a place where _________?” as many times as you wish.
Minneapolis and other Comprehensive Plans, the conversation continues
John Edwards rejects criticism that the Comprehensive Plan is anti-family, but rather argues it is A “Pro-Family” Comprehensive Plan “If our definition of “pro-family” extends beyond the kinds of families who aren’t exclusively white and financially comfortable, we should be legalizing cheaper housing types — small-scale multi-family homes” and actively planning for and building more housing for more types of families.
Arguments Against Minneapolis’s Draft Comprehensive Plan, Addressed (Part I) by Christa Moseng tackles arguments against the draft plan one at a time. This installment looks at arguments to restrict increasing housing density to already dense places such as downtown or near the University of Minnesota, increasing density near high frequency transit, and the contention that the Comp Plan calls for demolition of housing indiscriminately. The post calls out objections based on protecting neighborhoods from development and continuing to stress (as other recent posts have done) that more housing is needed, more affordable housing is needed, and distributing this widely, rather than restricting it to small parts of the city will be most effective. The comment section offers some extensive back and forth with a member of the Metro Council, the post author and others considering housing and inequality, distinctions between smaller multi-family buildings and much larger and denser development.
In Comprehensive Plans: Where Do You Want To Live?, Walker Angell takes a look at the metro area suburban communities to ask what will attract future homeowners and make them choose a community? Citing the move toward more urban, walkable places, future residents “want to be able to safely and comfortably walk or bike stress-free to the local grocery or café and see their neighbors there, not gobs of strangers. They want their children to be able to walk or ride to a local school and to local activities rather than relying on mom and dad taxi service. They don’t want the wasted time, costs and stress of having to drive long distances or battle stress-inducing traffic for anything and everything.” The comment section adds some nuance to the density discussion about how suburbs can locate more dense housing to increase the connected, walkable qualities of their places.
Bikes and good investments , safety, and investment
“Good Enough” Isn’t Good Enough on Summit Avenue says Bill Lindeke. Although Summit Avenue has the most heavily used bike lanes in Saint Paul, they are neither safe nor pleasant. Rejecting claims that Summit is good enough and people use it anyway, “Summit Avenue is the perfect candidate for promotion from good biking street to great biking street. Instead of spending a lot of time and money trying to improve any of Saint Paul’s really bad streets and make them “just OK” for bicycling, why not spend a little bit of time and money and make Summit Avenue great?”
The chart of the week, Chart of the Day: US Transit Ridership Growth, 2002-2018 is from Yonah Freemark’s “Transport Politic” blog that seeks to explain the reasons for the decline in transit (especially bus) ridership across the country.
Transit On-time Performance by Aaron Isaacs describes how Metro Transit used to try to measure on-time performance and how GPS has changed the landscape, “Before GPS, passengers had to go by the scheduled times and hope the bus would be on-time. During a snowstorm you knew the bus would probably be late and the wait might be long and frustrating, but what choice did you have? Having real time bus arrival available to everyone online has taken much of the uncertainty out of lateness. You can check on your bus, see when it will actually arrive and avoid standing around in bad weather wondering when or if it will show.”
Changing Housing Politics Means Changes For Transit Planning from Alex Schieferdecker argues that Transit Oriented Development has it backwards and transit should serve existing development, “If one form of transit is already highly successful in an area, that’s a good sign that it is a strong candidate for even better transit, not a reason to make improvements elsewhere instead. Serving dense communities should be the goal of transit, and it wouldn’t matter if relative changes to land use were small, if the corridor was already dense to begin with. Transit is supposed to serve people, not land where hypothetically people might one day live.”
Walks and bikes
Go Bikepacking: Nicole Salica tells us about her My First Bikepacking Trip! Part 1 of 3 and Part 2 of 3 taking the North Star commuter train plus biking one way and planning to bike all the way back from Lake Maria to Minneapolis. Parts 1 and 2 set up the trip and get you to Lake Maria; stay tuned for the ride back.