St. Patrick’s Day, that day of green things which should not be green and (this year anyway) things which ought to be green are still buried under snow and ice. We could repurpose St. Patrick’s Day as a happy and green climate action day (and a few green beers would probably be ok in this context)…
Winter (is ending)
Eric Anondson asks Do Single-Side All-Winter Parking Restrictions Work Anywhere? In Hopkins (after streets were narrowed), “A five month long, November 15th to April 15th, single-side parking restriction works here. I was skeptical it was going to be fine. But it’s fine. During snow emergencies when everyone has to get off the streets I’ve seen some homes fit three cars in their alley-side driveway side by side.”
Alicia Valenti demonstrates How the 2019 Snowmageddon Showed That Cars Remain King by documenting the sidewalks and bike lanes become impassable in snow, “Despite bold claims about valuing social equity, MnDOT and our local governments continue to leave accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists up to the whim of private citizens. These agencies provide for relatively unimpeded travel by car while paying lip service to environmental sustainability in the face of climate crisis.”
Complete Streets: A Springtime Slideshow by Fred Kreider is a photo follow-up to Snowmaggedon and some conversation where the author 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.” Yup.
Jeb Rach does some transit fact-checking of Metro Transit with Auditing the High-Frequency Lines: Are They Truly High Frequency? Of 14 bus or light rail lines which are advertised as high frequency service with service every 15 minutes (during the day). Three routes were “Definitely High Frequency,” some were “Technically High Frequency,” and others “Practically Not High Frequency.” Only the LRT and aBRT lines (Red, Blue, and Green) are definitely high frequency, and the post has details of how each putatively high frequency route performed and some recommendations for how to make lines be more likely to be really highly frequent.
Book: You missed the event in Randy Shaw Loves Minneapolis – Meet Him Tomorrow , but you can still read “Randy Shaw’s new book, “Generation Priced Out“, is full of info about housing affordability in the US. It’s a complex topic, and Shaw is well versed in housing debates, patterns, and studies from his perch dealing with preserving low-income housing in San Francisco, the nation’s most expensive market.”
TV: HGTV Thrives on Gentrification, and It’s My Guilty Pleasure says Conrad Zbikowski, After looking at some of the numbers in various HGTV series (like the purchase price, renovation cost, and profit for the properties rehabbed in the show), he asks, “But what if we didn’t have to compromise? With Minneapolis and St. Paul focusing on affordability and density, what if HGTV green-lit a show about an affordable housing developer flipping single family lots into triplexes or vacant land into six-story multi-family properties? Aspirational television doesn’t have to be cookie-cutter plot-lines of flipping and renovation.” Commenters note the culture of superficial upgrades also send a lot of material to landfills along with some defenses of putting money into a house (without flipping it.)
Melissa Wenzel finishes her series on Sustainable Saint Paul? The Third and Final Part (read the first and second posts here) with a detailed timeline and play-by-play of the Saint Paul City Council meeting where potential ordinance amendment for “Sustainable To-Go Packaging” for restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and other establishments passed.
Although it’s Part One, Monte Castleman’s A History of Minnesota’s Interstates, Part One is a continuation of his interest in the highways in Minnesota and follows the six part series on Minnesota’s trunk highway system. Part One gives the very beginnings of how the interstate highway system got started with historic photos, information on routes, logos, and more. Part Two will see what got built in Minnesota.
More or less regular features
Look: Map Monday: An Urban Transit-Type Portrayal of the Upper Mississippi meaning the Mississippi River gets reimagined by Daniel Huffman in the style of the iconic London Tube map by Harry Beck.
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