It’s almost Fall – we’ve passed Labor Day, but for Northfield (where I live) we have to finish up the Defeat of Jesse James Days this weekend before summer really ends. Do not call it “Jesse James Days” because there relevant part is defeating Jesse James and his gang (and stopping them from robbing the First National Bank). Call it “Defeat Days” or “The Celebration.” And, like the State Fair, if you create a great event, parking doesn’t matter.
Speaking of events, streets.mn has several events in September, starting this week with Happy Hour on September 12 at Venn Brewing in South Minneapolis starting around 5:15 and until past 7. Then streets.mn will be at Open Streets starting with West Broadway on Saturday, September 15th from 11am-5pm. Come see us!
Hall’s Island. Not an Island. Ok, an Island Again says Paul Jahn, and he gives us a brief history of the place and its connection to the mainland. The former lumber company site is part of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board project to reclaim the industrial riverfront for a “public park to be complete with a gravel beach, what I like to call a public oasis, ecological benefits and even two pedestrian bridges crossing the channel to the island.”
Alex Schieferdecker points the way Towards A Network Of Rapid Buses. The post thinks through Metro Transit’s planning for future aBRT lines, asks policy questions, and proposes some revisions saying, “Imagine if the governments of Minneapolis and St. Paul made a commitment to providing the freedom of high quality transit service to every single citizen of their cities. If MSP is to be serious about transit, it must be serious about blanketing the cities with aBRT. There is no faster, less costly way to provide high frequency, high capacity, congestion-light transit service of the kind that American cities have mostly abandoned.”
Everyone Walks at the State Fair says Ian Young, and he walked 7+ miles. This post “translate[s] State Fair distances into ordinary distances to help us through the transition. I’ve mapped out some favorite routes at the fair and paired them with an analogue elsewhere in the cities that is ripe for walking. May this give us a taste of what’s possible, given that people will walk a lot more than they say they will.”
Driverless Cars and the Cult of Technology by Andy Singer works to do some myth-busting, “In many ways, driverless cars have all the makings of a massive cult–the Cult of Technology. This is the idea that technology will somehow solve the problems of human greed, over-population and over-consumption of planetary resources, and therefore will also solve the related problems of climate change, waste, pollution, and species extinction. It’s an old fantasy but one we still buy into. It preys on our laziness and gullibility and it distracts and deludes us so much that we can’t see basic realities staring us in the face.”
What is the Cost/Value of a Calorie? asks Walker Angell. The post translates the cost of excess calories into dollars spent on healthcare before turning to the value of active transportation for burning calories, saying “These extra costs due to weight and inactivity include increased incidences of diabetes, joint repair and replacement, cancer, heart disease, strokes, and a number of other medical problems. There are also often higher costs, per treatment, to treat people who are overweight. Then there are numerous secondary and tertiary problems such as those resulting from sleep apnea caused by being overweight.[italics in original]” Comments debate the directness of the link from obesity alone to health care costs as well as some of the health industry issues which drive cost.
The Saint Paul 2040 Comprehensive Plan from Andy Singer, shifts the spotlight from the Minneapolis 2040 plan which has received much coverage on streets.mn. He says, “In many respects, this is an excellent plan. I love that, in infrastructure design and decision making, it prioritizes street users by speed, from slowest to fastest– pedestrians, cyclists, transit, cars/trucks. Policies like T-3, T-5, T-7, T-20, T-21, T-22, T-37 are a huge leap forward for the city and I am super grateful they were included. There is a lot of clear language and good ideas in the plan but there is also some vague “word salad” where the intent of the language is difficult to decipher,” but goes on to itemize his comments about the plan.
Walk, look, link, and listen
Look: Map Monday: Twin Cities Racially Concentrated Areas of Wealth “shows a different perspective on the typical way of viewing income inequality in the Twin Cities. Instead of showing the Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty (RCAP), this map flips the categories on their head and shows where concentrated wealth exists in the Twin Cities.”
Listen: In Podcast #119: Preserving Urban Alleys with Christian Huelsman, Bill Lindeke talks to public space preservationist Christian Huelsman who worked to preserve alleys in Cincinnati and now brings his passion and skill to the Twin Cities.