A somewhat light week on streets.mn thanks to the Independence Day holiday (click here to read or reread the Declaration of Independence; one excerpt tripped the Facebook acceptable content filtering…worth reading the Declaration past the first few oft-repeated paragraphs to see the demands made and how the language might get flagged by Facebook). In the wake of Saint Paul’s cancellation of its fireworks display for budget reasons, streets.mn writers consider On Civic Mascots, Civic Pride & the City of St. Paul and offer some ideas for a Saint Paul mascot.
Transit & other motor vehicles
Statistician Daniel Hartig asks Do Cities Like Minneapolis Have High Transit Ridership? (Part 1). For Part 1, the discussion is only about identifying cities (North American, European, and British) which are “like Minneapolis” and discussing similarities and relevant differences to start to approach this problem: “Transit share in the United States is pretty universally low, except in New York City. Since Minneapolis is not very much like New York, it can be assumed that the sort of high transit ridership cities that some of us aspire for Minneapolis to be must exist outside the United States.”
For Urban Vehicles, Let’s Use the Right Tool For the Job says Jeffrey Klein. Our large pickups and SUVs “are badly optimized for city use. They are simply unnecessarily large, unnecessarily heavy, and poorly packaged. All the weight, size, limited visibility (side airbags and higher beltlines reduce window size dramatically) regulated into them in the name of safety was only for the sake of their occupants; that same weight and size makes them even more menacing to pedestrians and cyclists than they would be otherwise.”
Aaron Isaacs asks How Accessible Are Twin Cities Bus Stops? and the answer is, “almost half of the metro area bus stops are not accessible. Furthermore, there is no count of how many actually meet ADA requirements. This is a major hole in the accessibility network. It also has a negative impact on able-bodied transit riders, because waiting at a non-accessible bus stop means standing in dirt, mud, grass and sometimes on a hill or berm.” Distinguishing between legally accessible and not legal, but workable accessibility, the post has photos to show the difference, data from Metro Transit about their stops, and some thoughts about why accessibility is not better.
In A Modest Proposal, Revisited, Luke Van Santen uses the widespread adoption of flashing yellow arrow signals to allow left turns when safe to do so as a reason to return to proposed bike legislation, “Given the direct acknowledgement that road users are often able to recognize safe conditions that allow certain traffic movements even outside the direct control of traffic signals (gasp!), it is time to recognize the truth on the ground and pass legislation implementing #IdahoStop and #ParisStop.”
Don’t Sweat It, says Walker Angell. The post provides a how-to guide for bicycling in warmer weather and arriving without needing to jump in the shower. Part of the advice is advocacy for Dutch-style cycling – upright, slower, and helmet-less.
Architectural Style: High Style vs Vernacular by Robert Roscoe helps us look at buildings around us and distinguish high style (“buildings exemplify architectural features that are consistent throughout their surfaces of attributes, particularly ornament, identified with a defined architectural style” and vernacular architecture (“buildings of typically straightforward architectural design, which rely much less on use of ornament and tend to identify with the building’s purpose or function”).
Listen, link, and walk
Listen: Podcast #115 – Ramsey County’s 3rd District with Trista Matas-Castillo documents Bill Lindeke’s conversation with Ramsay County Commission candidate Trista Matas-Castillo.
Link: National Links: Spite Houses and Carless Central Park from The Overhead Wire.