Upon reading this recent post by Alicia Valenti, I decided to take a walk with my camera around my own neighborhood. Here is a “slide-show” (pun intended) of the proceedings:
On my walk, I was able to talk with some others about their bipedal experiences of the day.
Outside the MPD 3rd Precinct, I spoke with one person who said they were more comfortable walking shin-deep in the adjacent snow than they were willing to risk a fall on the hardpack ice that covered the sidewalk. They then motioned to the Arby’s behind us saying “it is much worse back there”. [I had stopped in to that Arby’s for lunch and, upon leaving, helped an elderly woman who was struggling to push her cart 20 feet from the bus stop to the intersection.]
As you may be reading this while sitting on a bus or close to a window, I am positive my experience and these images are not unique to my neighborhood. We had one doozy of a February this year, no doubt about it, but that is nothing new for us in “MinneSNOWda”.
While we usually get our snow spaced out between November and March, given the reports of our ever changing climate, I think it is time we re-evaluate how we react to and plan for the weather which we cannot control. This Minnesota Monthly article from December 2014 cites U of MN climatologist Mark Seeley, saying that our storm sewers are inadequate for the increased rainfall that is being predicted by climate models.
This brings me to another point: Minneapolis is beginning to update their Transportation Action Plan which builds on the policy initiatives that have been approved through Minneapolis2040, and further builds on the previously approved Climate Action Plan (2013), Complete Streets Policy (2016), and Vision Zero (2017). Feel free to comment on this post, but I guarantee you those words will be much more effective when directed to those in charge of planning.
I believe these are all problems that have been created as a side effect to planning exclusively for automobiles, and I believe we are equally able to plan and engineer our way out of it for our collective future.