Downtown Night

Sunday Summary – December 2, 2018

Welcome to December on Aiming to provide some twinkling lights in the darkness this winter,’s annual fundraiser and all-around FUNdraiser is coming up fast. Get tickets here, then join us December 19, 2018 for an evening of fun with The Theater of Public Policy, sparking conversation, cool people, and delicious eatables and drinkables. Here’s the sparkling content from last week:


Big ideas

Minneapolis Does Not Need More Police says Devin Hogan. The post strongly advocates for shifting funding priorities: “I believe that Minneapolis knows how to make these kinds of investments. The mayor’s housing first and Full Service Community Schools initiatives address the social determinants of health. We have reams of research showing this level of intervention prevents myriad issues and saves public money down the road. I think it is time to stop mindlessly shoveling our budget’s “safety” dollars into the obviously poor fit of the police managing our structural social problems.”

Sustainable Saint Paul? Part 2 continues Melissa Wenzel’s look at sustainable takeout container ordinance (part 1 is here). Zero Waste Saint Paul, an organization formed this summer, has been very busy contacting Council members (read summaries of each interview), publicizing establishments which already have sustainable containers (you can see which have been featured), and meeting regularly (check the post for when and where). A vote on the ordinance has been delayed until 2019, but advocates can read and find out what more they can do to help this process along.

Twin Cities Transit Expansion Timeline by Eric Ecklund charts the metro’s transit system development to date plus what’s planned for the near and not quite so near future, saying “There will be quite a few route openings in the 2020s, but we’ll need to keep up that pace for at least a few decades if we want to stay competitive with other regions and reach climate goals. These predictions also assume autonomous cars won’t replace public transit like the transit skeptics dream of every night. Rather autonomous cars will be mostly used as part of car-sharing and ride-sharing services and last-mile solutions to/from transit stops.”

Lyndale Police District

Minneapolis Police Department, 5th Precinct

Look, look, look, look, walk

Look, look, look at all the charts this week: Chart of the Day: Percent of Income Dedicated to Rent, 2009 – 2016 from conversation on Twitter showing rising median rent relative to median wages; in addition to the chart there is also some tweet-back about the data and whether the chart is misleading. Next up, Chart of the Day: Urban Density in Minneapolis & Other US Cities, 1900-1960 showing the decreasing density starting at the beginning of the last century “You can see that in Minneapolis, as well as just about every US city, built almost entirely SFHs [single family homes] as the 20th century progressed.” Finally, Chart of the Day: US Rail Transit Ridership per Mile ” from a new book called Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit. It shows ridership per mile for every US metro area.”  Bill Lindeke recommends it as a fine gift for your favorite transit nerd; perhaps should publish its own gift guide.

Look, there’s a map, too: Map Monday: Minneapolis Average Rents, 1934 showing how higher rents moved out from the center of Minneapolis (and other cities, too, according to the report from whence the map was taken).

Walk: Keep Walking All the Streets of Northeastern Jordan with Max Hailperin in his third walk in the Jordan neighborhood.

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