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Sunday Summary – December 23, 2018

We hope you attended our Winter Fundraiser and party last week because we enjoyed talking to everyone, raised funds, raffled off cool prizes, signed up new members, and gave departing board member Janne Flisrand an excellent sendoff with The Theater of Public Policy. If you couldn’t make it to the event, you missed the prizes, food, and show, but it is never to late to become a member or make a one-time donation to support our work (here are some great reasons to join/donate).

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2018 Winter Fundraiser: Janne Flisrand being interviewed by the Theater for Public Policy

Fabulous Festivus to you!  Julie Kosbab offers Festivus 2018: Triplexes for the Rest of Us as a guide to all Festivus traditions including the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength from 2018 (compare this year’s list with 2017).

Yard 2bsign

Two signs, atop 4 Festivus poles. Gotta take the signs off, though. Image courtesy of WedgeLIVE



Getting around

Paul Jahn visits Luxton Park, Glendale Townhomes, and a Missing Link. The Prospect Park area park and public townhomes are seeing some improvements (new playground, winterizing homes), but remain isolated. The missing link is the promise of completing the Gand Rounds including links connecting Luxton Park, “I’m really big on this. The neighborhood just has a few main entrances/exits, most well-known is toward University Ave SE. It would be nice to see riders, walkers, and rollers be able to stop here and and the park, and for neighborhood residents to have easy similar access to areas across Minneapolis. Part of the missing link may cross from the Black Veil Falls area to right by Luxton Park. I have a tougher time visualizing this. But, I’m not a planner.”

Alex Schieferdecker drafts A Back-Of-The-Napkin Proposal For State Transit Funding which reviews some pluses and minuses of the proposals put forward by the new Keep Moving MN coalition before suggesting what comprehensive transit funding might cover and for how to raise the money including allowing Ramsey and Hennepin to raise transit sales taxes, increasing the gas tax and some as yet untried ideas. Commenters focus on the logic and likelihood of an increased gas tax.

Minimum Parking in St. Paul by Eric Saathoff looks at Saint Paul 2040 which does proposes reducing not eliminating praking minimums as the Minneapolis 2040 Plan did saying, “How do parking minimums exert control over businesses? Simply put, they are extremely expensive. I’ve read studies showing the cost of a single parking space as between $5,000 – $10,000. Additionally a business owner, developer, or resident has to find the space to put those parking spaces. That may mean the planned structure will have to be smaller. Or it may mean that surrounding structures will have to be removed – if they can be acquired.” But there’s still time to advocate for changes in the Saint Paul plan (details in the post)

Luxton Park

Luxton Park from Arthur Pl and Williams Ave SE

Celebration and Criticism

Sonnet, or Love Song is Dana DeMaster’s ode to the Leading Pedestrian Interval at Victoria and Grand. In contrast to the Airing of Grievances for Festivus, is delighted to publish this and other love songs to things done well.

Cars Don’t Hit Pedestrians, Drivers Do says Julie Kosbab after the latest crashes (the media is getting better about not describing these as accidents) were reported as people walking hit by (non-autonomous) vehicles rather than by the agents piloting those cars, “But cars didn’t cause any of these collisions. A driver hit each one of these people, using a vehicle. Knives don’t stab people of their own volition. Clubs are not accused of beating people. But cars are given agency in the language of the write up, and drivers are afterthoughts. The car is glorified.” The many commenters debate both the use of “accident” (claiming the use is justified when the crash was unintended) as well as distinguishing identifying agency (the driver is the agent, not the vehicle) from assigning blame (often unknown at the time incidents are reported).


Regular features: listen, look, link, walk

Listen: Podcast #122: Planning for Walking in Saint Paul with Fay Simer in which Bill Lindeke talks with SAint Paul’s Pedestrian Coordinator for Saint Paul Public Works Department about the city’s first ever pedestrian plan (and other stuff).

Look: Chart of the Day: US New Housing Supply 1968 – 2017 and Map Monday: Twin Cities Metro by Life Expectancy

Link: National Links: The Apps Know What You Did Last Night with more links from Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire.

Walk: Keep Walking All the Streets of Kenny, Day 1 with Max Hailperin.

Life Expectancy Map

Life expectancy 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