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The Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan is Still Worth Supporting says Pine Salica after the second draft was released recently. This post sums up the changes between the first and second drafts and concludes “Whether you’re passionate about supporting the comp plan because of climate concerns (did anyone have the stomach to read that climate report?), addressing racial injustices, addressing the looming housing crisis, or just seeing the way forward – there are a million reasons we all said it didn’t go far enough in the initial version. This draft has been watered down, but it’s still good. It’s still worth supporting.”
More critical, John Edwards‘ Big Developers, Big Business, Big Southwest Agree on Mpls 2040 looks at articles from the Strib and local business publications and pinpoints: “The two big lies of the 2040 debate are (1) it will cause the bulldozing of neighborhoods and (2) that developers have bought the process,” when teardowns (see one of this week’s maps showing teardown locations) are already happening to build bigger single family homes, and developers, wealthy homeowners, and business people benefit from the status quo.
Podcast #120: Minneapolis 2040 with Heather Worthington and Paul Mogush brings Bill Lindeke’s conversation with two of the people behind the forthcoming Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan: Heather Worthington, Director of Long-range Planning for Minneapolis, and Paul Mogush, Manager for Community Planning for the city.
Better walking and biking in the suburbs
Eric Ecklund says RRFBs: A False Sense of Protection in Bloomington and Edina. After looking at some intersections or crossings with RRFBs, he recommends traditional traffic signals or “HAWK signals, another acceptable device for crossing busy four-lane roads with no refuge island. Unlike RRFBs, HAWK signals have a solid red, so motorists must stop. These signals also have a countdown for pedestrians, so they know how long they have to cross the road before the signals turn yellow” but especially “If people want to feel safe walking or biking, don’t vote or hire people who compromise safety to save motorists seconds of their time and pretend they’re doing pedestrians a favor.”
Monte Castleman continues writing about bikes in Bloomington in Building a Better Bloomington for Bicycles (click here for an earlier post). This post looks at some of the worst of Bloomington’s bike accommodations (or lack of them) before looking at some of the real improvements saying, “Instead of just regular streets, bicycle lanes and sidewalks, what we need are true curb protected bicycle paths: MUPS. Not lanes “protected” with a thin layer of paint or even plastic flim-flam sticks that look like they can be knocked over by breathing on them, to say nothing of a car, but paths separated by concrete and preferably by a boulevard too. Here too there’s also been progress.”
Planning for creatures besides humans
Longfellow: A Certified Wildlife Habitat Neighborhood by Leslie MacKenzie describes the project underway in the Greater Longfellow Neighborhood to become a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Neighborhood. Learning is a big part of the process and unlearning some typical homeowner habits, too, “As our household learned more about pollinators, we became aware of the problem of too much grass and mulch. Many of our native bees are ground-dwellers. They need bare dirt, but they have a hard time finding it when we homeowners are so intent on keeping every inch covered.”
Walks and rides
I usually tuck our regular walk and ride features down at the bottom, but it’s been brisk, clear walking weather, so here’s a little collection of outdoor activities. It’s Fun to Take a Walk and Rate Houses says artist Carolyn Swiszcz. She’s provided the creative scorecard for rating English cottage/storybook style homes from 1920-1940. More ambitiously, you can continue walking Minneapolis with Max Hailperin, this time Walking All the Streets of Northwestern Howe.
Or, get out your bike since this week marks the return of Wolfie Browender and another of his rides around Saint Paul showing us history, people, and interesting places you’d probably miss. This time, Garden Parties takes us around 16.7 miles of Mac-Groveland, Rondo (Frogtown), and North End.
Maps ‘n’ Charts: Map Monday: Teardowns in Minneapolis, 2013 (see related post above) and an extra Map Monday (Bonus): All The Buildings in Minnesota (and elsewhere) Mapped via the NY Times. Plus Chart of the Day: Population Growth in Largest Midwestern Metros with some thoughts “about how those differences in distribution reveal some contrasting economic and demographic patterns.”
Links: National Links: Banning Cars and Greener Roads with more interesting, informative, and often entertaining links to stories from around the country from Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire.