Final Four Nicollet Mall Ferris Wheel 2019 04 06

Sunday Summary – April 14, 2019

Final Four? Check. April snowstorm? Check. Taxes filed? Check. Sunday Summary? Yup, here it is:


A History of Minnesota’s Interstates, Part Two by Monte Castleman, “is the second part of the history of Interstate Highways in Minnesota. Part One covered the early plans and conceptions of the interstate system, from the 1930s to the Interstate Highway Act of 1956. This concludes with the realization of the system.” As always, there are lots of historic photos and maps to chart the development of the system.

Andy Singer tells Why You Should Oppose a Gas Tax Increase. First, because the tax will continue to fund expansion of the road system (thus needing more money), but  the “bigger, much more important reason to oppose a gas tax increase is environmental. Climate Change is a screamingly urgent problem that we must confront if we wish to survive. Transportation is now one of the leading sources of carbon emissions in the US and the world. In the USA, “transportation” means “cars”, the most energy intensive of all transportation modes. As I’ve just detailed, year after year, MnDOT keeps widening roads and adding new bridges, interchanges, ramps, shoulders, parking lots and lane miles to the state highway system. As a state and a nation, we simply cannot address carbon emissions and climate change if we are perpetually expanding our highway system.”

Other ideas

Sam Newberg is thinking about Aging With Place after helping his mother after eye surgery, especially about how we get around, saying, “The oldest baby boomers have crossed the 70-year old threshold, and this generation was the first to live essentially their entire lives in a car-dependent society. To most, driving is essential, and my observation is a precious few have appropriate resources to deal with the eventuality of not being able to drive. A somewhat routine eye surgery like my mother’s, for example, changes everything about quality of life, even as simple as groceries.”

Tom Basgen says Goodbye Lime Bikes, We Never Cared after the announcement that Lime Bikes will not be returning to Saint Paul this year.  Questioning Saint Paul priorities, he says, “Forgive the hyperbole. It’s hard to be concerned about the loss of rentable bikes in a town where cars kill more people than guns, but the cops wear bulletproof vests and not the obnoxious blinky lights they’d like to staple on to every night jogger. So goodbye to Lime bikes; maybe we can buy the stock they left behind to paint white for the next ghost bike.”


Drowned Lime Bike (From reddit user u/Upper_Left_Corner)

Affordability: Shopping at and Living Near Grocery Stores has Conrad Zbikowski looking at grocery prices and, “To study the relationship between apartment rents and grocery store locations, I collected data for 36 grocery stores in or just near Minneapolis or St. Paul. The store brands were the same as those I researched for price data, and the apartment rent averages were from, with searches set at 1-bedroom apartments within 2.00 miles of the grocery store street address.”

Also from Conrad Zbikowski, Final Four on Nicollet Mall Shows What Downtown Minneapolis Could Be and wonders how Minneapolis could approach this kind of pwith, “Several thousand people were enjoying the mall between 8th and 10th streets. The lack of cars again amazed me. The police would stop pedestrians to let cars pass; five to 10 cars would pass, and then 30 pedestrians would cross the street. I had just assumed, with my windshield mentality, that visitors would use Uber and Lyft to get everywhere in a foreign city (especially one with a reputation for being cold). I got a treat from Dairy Queen and just watched the traffic for a while — the foot traffic, that is.”

Final Four Nicollet Mall News Room S 10th St 2019 04 06

What Nicollet Mall could be (Photo: Conrad Zbikowski)

Regular features

Look: Chart of the Day: Causes of Bird Mortality relevant to Minneapolis as a top-10 city for bird mortality. And Map Monday: New Construction and Vacancy Rates in Minneapolis asks if new housing will be built in areas with the lowest vacancy rates.

Link: National Links: Empty Trains and the Tallest Building more links from Jeff Wood and The Overhead Wire.

Bird Mortality Chart




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