Sunday Summary – June 24, 2018

Here’s last week on

Minneapolis 2040, the conversation continues

Christa Moseng continues her Arguments Against Minneapolis’s Draft Comprehensive Plan, Addressed (Part II)  Part I addressed density arguments, this week the goal is to refute arguments that the Comp Plan guidance to build more densely won’t address housing affordability as well as concerns about aesthetics and change. The post observes that building more multifamily housing is but one pice of the puzzle, “it’s unlikely any single policy change is sufficient to address the flaws in the market-based housing status quo. Housing accessibility and fairness, like many of our economic problems, need to be addressed holistically.”

The 2040 Comprehensive Plan: Completing Minneapolis’ Neighborhoods by Jonathan Foster links multifamily housing to allowing small businesses to thrive for a complete neighborhood where people can live and walk to shop, eat, and more: “Because there are relatively few complete neighborhoods in Minneapolis, they are in demand with ever increasing housing prices. In a city where wealth and race are so closely linked, it is worth questioning whether a neighborhood can really be complete when its population doesn’t reflect the city as a whole. By allowing more commercial space, and more people to live near that commercial space, we’ll likely have more neighborhoods that work like Linden Hills, except that actually reflect the diversity of our city.”

Town Hall Tap, 4810 Chicago Ave. (Photo: Max Hailperin)


Are Cities Really Growing Faster Than Suburbs? asks Daniel Hartig; the answer is, “Yes, cities have been growing faster than suburbs over the past 6 years; but only the densest parts of the densest cities.” The zip code based statistical analysis in the post gives the why behind the answer.

Density Does Not Have to Equal More Driving (and Less Parking) is a very different look at density by Amy Gage. Rather than presuming more density entails less parking, this post considers ways St. Paul could lessen demand for parking by getting people to walk, bike, or take transit saying, “not everyone has to drive every day, certainly not those of us who are able bodied and who reasonably can walk, bike or bus to work. Rarely do we analyze or acknowledge the sure way to disrupt the density/driving equation —  by putting fewer cars on the road.”

Population growth rate against zip code density


Finishing the story, Pine Salica tells My First Bikepacking Trip! Part 3 of 3 and the long bike ride back from Lake Maria to Minneapolis with varying road/trail conditions and a lack of public water fountains on a very hot weekend.

Two posts continue the conversation about the Summit Avenue bike lanes. Dan Marshall looks back in Restoring Summit Avenue’s Historic Bike Lanes to tell the story of the protected bike lanes that existed pre-automobile. Given Summit’s status (and limitations) as an Historic Preservation District, Dan notes restoring bike lanes is historic preservation, “we should keep in mind the avenue’s rich bicycling history and acknowledge that, from the perspective of historic preservation, the question should not be about whether to accommodate the safety needs of cyclists, but how to restrain or eliminate the safety threat of that rough and rowdy modern interloper, the automobile.”

More in line with previous posts about the current situation, Updating the Summit Avenue Bikeway, Andy Singer recaps the recent meeting at Macalester Colllege sponsored by Sustain Ward 3 about the making Summit safer, reviews possible options, and concludes, “Saint Paul has a lot of bicycle needs. The biggest in my book is the doughnut hole of bicycle access in and around downtown. I would hate to see the city spend huge amounts of money and staff time on Summit Avenue only to come up with something that fails to improve conditions or makes them worse. So lets do the obvious things and test a section of parking-protected bikeway.”

Summit Avenue Cycle PAth

Saint Paul Daily Globe, 1898

And Saint Paul

Bill Lindeke provides Three Reasons I Support Saint Paul’s Plans for a Smaller Pedro Park and summarizes the controversies about shrinking it. Although the lack of transparency in the change of plans was unfortunate, the new plan is a good one, “The current Pedro / Ackerberg proposal would not solve these problems overnight, but I think it would be a step in the right direction. Instead of tearing down an historic building to create another expensive and probably-often-empty downtown park, this proposal would preserve an irreplaceable funky building, create quality office space and (presumably) fill it with workers, and maintain a public space at little expense to the city budget.”

Look, link, and walk

Charts: Two charts look back in time with 1929 Signal Schedule and Traffic Flow Diagram which, in addition to the traffic flow diagram from San Francisco, also includes recommendations for prioritizing pedestrians via signals. Offered more ironically, Driving Distance versus Atomic Bomb Location also includes some consideration of whether the “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act” might provide the impetus for shifting funds from the military budget to roads.

Map: Map Monday: 11′ Ribbon Map of Minnesota (and the rest of the Mississippi River) is a cool map format (if you like ribbon maps, check out this) which depicts the river, north to south, on one long strip.

Links: More National Links: Learning from Los Angeles on Water from The Overhead Wire.

Walk: Keep walking with Max Hailperin on his quest to walk all of Minneapolis’ neighborhoods (in alphabetical order) with Walking All the Streets of Northeastern Fulton.

From the ribbon map

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