river level up to first step of stairway, with railing peeking out

Sunday Summary – March 31, 2019

Farewell to March!  Posts last week started to look Springier with nothing about winter problems, but a look at post-winter flooding and the prospect of electric bike share in Minneapolis. And don’t forget, the streets.mn SPRING Writers Workshop is next weekend, April 6, 2019, at CoCreatz in Saint Paul; the venue is transit-friendly (details at the link above) and has bike parking too.


Not a solution

Security Theater Doesn’t Help Anyone Other than Makers of Clear Bags observes Heidi Schallberg as more venues move to prohibit items over a certain size not contained in a clear plastic bag,  “So what are you supposed to do with your stuff? If you won’t just succumb and buy a clear plastic bag you won’t want to use for anything else, the people who come up with these policies seem to assume that you can throw it in your car or have capacious pockets.”  And women almost never have capacious pockets (see the graphic in the post for what women already know). Commenters provide more examples of how these shambolic security policies are biased against transit and bike travelers, people with disabilities, people with children, and more plus a catalog (thanks, Julie) of Target Field policies and MLS stadium policies around the country.

Black clutch bag inside a clear ziploc bag

Now the too-big small bag is magically safe enough for entry



Ritzy Rafter Apartments in CenHen Opening August 1st by Conrad Zbikowski adds to his posts about new projects in Minneapolis. This one in Central Hennepin, where “Talking numbers, the project towers at 26 stories and includes a total of 6,548 square feet of commercial space fronting E Hennepin and 4th Street NE. There are a total of 282 resident apartments. For all of the renters, there are exactly 282 parking stalls encased in an above-ground parking structure that is wrapped in a metal facade.”

Marcy Holmes Revisited by Paul Jahn is a walk because he “didn’t realize that they have a few, new neighborhood improvements planned and I became really curious. One is the new (finally) 5th St SE pedestrian and bicycle bridge plan that crosses over I-35W.”

5th St Se Bridge

Marcy Holmes: Rendered 5th St SE Bridge


And Saint Paul

The Flooding of the Saint Paul Riverfront in photos and text by Jenny Werness is a continuation of the story of her bike commutes starting with the delightful followed by winter challenges (and further challenges of trying to commute by transit in the depths of the snow). Now, “I’d been happily enjoying bicycling along the river for the past couple weeks, now that the snow and ice chunks had melted enough for my route to be passable. I watched the rising river with a bit of sadness: I’d lose my river route again! But I embraced this opportunity to take photos of the riverfront as the water level increases.” Also included, some route suggestions for avoiding the water.

"Path closed" sign with water covering stairs behind.

March 25th: the stairs and landing area are completely flooded

 Getting around

Electric Bike Share Coming Soon to Minneapolis and John Edwards has the details of this year’s Nice Rice fleet for the season starting on April 10, 2019. The post covers more about Nice Ride than the roll out of ebikes, but here is the ebike detail update quoting Bill Dossett, Nice Ride’s executive director, “the original plan for 2019 was to add more of the dockless, pedal-powered bikes. That changed when Motivate, the bike share company that operates Nice Ride’s system, noticed that “consumers want electric bikes.” Other cities are seeing 12-15 trips per day on each bike, “far greater usage than we were getting on the traditional bikes.” So instead of adding 1,500 more dockless bikes in 2019, they’re adding 1,800 e-bikes.”

Could the Commuter Rail from Minneapolis to Duluth be a Flop? asks Conrad Zbikowski. The post is framed more as whether the commuter rail line could succeed (and met with pessimism) as other ways to get between Duluth and Minneapolis (driving yourself, Uber/Lyft, shuttle, bus service, even flying) and a look at Amtrak numbers. Commenters consider benefits beyond dollar cost and driving costs beyond gas.

Ebikes Pilot

Nice Ride: Ebikes Pilot

Regular features

Look: Chart of the Day: Gas Taxes Around the World in dollars per gallon and Map Monday: Minneapolis Crash Concentration Map showing “the crash density for the key “concentration” corridors where the bulk of the city’s crashes are located.”

Link: National Links: Cities Made Better and National Links: Augmented Reality Directions giving you twice as many links from Jeff Wood and The Overhead Wire.

Gas Tax Chart

Gas Tax comparison


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 BetseyBuckheit.com.