Sunday Summary – July 15, 2018

Here’s the week on, a week in which free-range motorized scooters descended on the Twin Cities along with heat and humidity. We’ve got a hot take on those scooters, some thoughts on ping pong tables plus some continuing discussion of Minneapolis 2040, transit, bicycling, and a bit more:


Bill Lindeke announces I, For One, Welcome Our New Scooter Overlords after Bird scooters appeared (suddenly, without official permission) on the streets of Saint Paul (and Minneapolis). After telling us how to use the app and a review of the ride itself, Bill gets to the big picture, “Apart from that, the other potential problem is people driving them obnoxiously through crowded sidewalks or in front of cars. That is a distinct likliehood, but is more of a problem with our streets than with scooters per se. And it brings me to my main point…”The thing I like best about these new scooters is that they focus the conversation where it should be: changing our car-centric streets.To put it another way, these simple, delightful scooters are a big neon arrow pointing out the urban design flaw in our midst.”

We Read Scootergeddon Comments So You Don’t Have To continues the public service of reading and rating the mainstream media comment sections on hot topics like the surprise of scooters. Julie Kosbab reads and reviews the comments where regular readers will not be surprised to learn, commenters note bike riders break the law (yes, bikes not scooters).

New scooter!

Getting around

Daniel Hartig continues his analysis from last week in Do Cities Like Minneapolis Have High Transit Ridership? (Part 2)  Last week’s post identified cities which were “like Minneapolis” and this week “For each city, let us try to compare the population within 500 square kilometers (the ‘local’ population) against fixed-route transit ridership within that area and total transit ridership.”

Cross-posted from Our Streets Minneapolis, Frances Stevenson asks (and answers) Does Bike Commuting Impact Your Carbon Footprint? And How Much?  The answer is Yes, plus some stats about per person carbon impact along with policy recommendations for large scale change.

Photo by Ajith George

Minneapolis 2040 continuing conversation

Beyond Apocalyptic Yard Signs is John Edwards request/plea/demand to move the Minneapolis 2040 conversation about housing beyond fear-mongering statements on yard signs (and elsewhere) to establishing shared facts and ways to address the housing shortage and the inequities embedded in zoning, “We’ve inherited a system, a legacy of redlining, that’s left us with increasingly exclusive neighborhoods. It’s a system where not being able to afford the neighborhood you want means you can’t afford access to a good public school; or to be near grocery stores and other amenities; or to keep yourself and your family safe from dirty air, soil, and water. It’ll take a lot more to undo that legacy, but ending exclusionary zoning is a necessary step.”

Minneapolis 2040 yard sign

Fun and games

The City: Where Ping Pong Tables Go To Die says Chris Steller. Using suburban Craigslist to locate and import “intact ping pong tables from their roomy environs in suburban basements and garages, into the cramped inner city where the only place for them is outside and they get wrecked,” this is a photo and Twitter guide to urban ping pong “facilities.” Don’t miss the Ping Pong Polka video, either.

Urban Ping Pong

Quick looks and a long walk

Walk: Max Hailperin is Walking All the Streets of Northern Hale this week.

Chart: Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Street Grid Orientation vs. Other US Cities is a collection of cool charts of Minneapolis and other cities’ street networks (plus links to charts of world cities).

Map: Map Monday: Transit Access to Jobs for the Twin Cities Metro in 2017 is “The most recent transit-and-jobs “Access Across America” report came out this week and here’ s the latest map. It’s a heat map showing “jobs within a 30 minute transit ride” of any given location on the 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