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Sunday Summary – April 21, 2019

It’s Spring, finally, with green stuff and everything here in Minnesota. You should go outside and play after you read what happened last week on

Current events

Andy Singer’s Thoughts on the Mohamed Noor Trial considers how much our car culture can increase the chances of incidents like these because of the effect of being protected and isolated in a car, “On foot or on a bicycle, you can feel the air temperature, hear voices and other sounds, smell odors, call out to people, and hear their responses. You’re literally in touch with your environment. In a car, you’re not. Most Twin Cities neighborhoods are so suburban and spread out that they defy “Community policing”. It would be difficult for an officer to cover the distances they’re expected to on foot or even on bicycles. But being on foot or on a bike might give them a lot more knowledge of the communities with whom they interact and might enable more accurate assessments of situations. That’s true for all of us.

Cars Internet Guns and Drones Create Distance

Hot wheels

Streets For Drag Racing in Brainerd is a little reminiscence from Robert Roscoe about high school hot rodding in Brainerd saying, “Attending Washington High School in Brainerd, Minnesota, my hot rod friends and I used several streets that made good drag racing places. In fact, the street in front of the high school was one of them. The mandatory “Start” location was a fire hydrant near the physics classroom, where several of us hot rodders were in instructor Frank Moulton’s early afternoon fifth hour class.” Click through to find out what happens next.


Who Should Be Able to Live Along the River? asks Heidi Schallberg after the Saint Paul City Council approved zoning changes on the Ford redevelopment site to allow single family homes on the prime riverfront property, “A 21st century community (which is how the city bills the Ford site) would prioritize equity and recognize that an increasing percentage of households are one person, not the Leave It to Beaver nuclear family of the 1950s. A 21st century community would change its power dynamics so that the people who literally take up the most space don’t dominate the community narrative. A 21st century community should provide more options (both in housing type and affordability) for people to live along a unique natural resource like the Mississippi River.” A few commenters push back that prime locations command higher prices and that’s the reward for being able to afford it or, because there’s already multifamily housing nearby, this fills the need for single family homes. But, many others agree the downzoning walks back the planning.

Devin Hogan does a Minneapolis Market Check: 2-bed / 1-Bath Units in Lyndale documents the what you get for your money in a “listicle market check of every single two-bed/one-bath unit in Lyndale presently listed online,” where All 14 units listed (constructed 1891-2019) have been renovated to varying levels of quality and pizzaz, with monthly costs holding tight between $1,200-$1,600!” Pros (like proximity to grocery stores and other food) and cons (like free parking).

356 Mrb Streets

Ask people what type of housing they picture along MRB, and mansions like this likely come to mind.


Public Spaces

“The East Side’s Park” by David Black is another post from the Saint Paul Field Guide to Public Spaces, put together by a geography class at Macalester College in Fall 2018. (See introduction here). The post takes a detailed look at Phalen Regional Park to assess its facilities, access to the park, and how well it works as a public space concluding, “Is Phalen Park a model for an inclusive society? Yes.  Phalen is an old-fashioned park, entirely public in ownership and management (except for the golf course), open to all, with few barriers to entry or excessive controls.”

Sw Portion Of Lake

Phalen Regional Park, SW portion of lake

Follow up

A few weeks ago, Conrad Zbikowski wrote about commuter rail between Duluth and Minneapolis in light of Amtrak’s study of this route and what it could cost relative to other modes of travel. This time, he “asked where you would like to travel on the proposed route and how much you as a rider would be willing to pay for it.” in  Reader Survey Results: Economics of Amtrak from Minneapolis to Duluth. Commenters supply stories of their own most recent train rides.

Highlights from Hopkins recaps the trip from Uptown to Hopkins on the 612 bus route. Lots of pictures to show you want you missed or make you feel like you were there.

Hopkins 1


Nice Ride

Nice Ride Offers Free Rides on Earth Day 🌍 Conrad Zbikowski provides these public service announcements. First, “Nice Ride recently delayed the start of their riding season to Monday, April 22, after unexpected snow in the second week of the month. Along with the Earth Day start, Nice Ride announced a one-day offer for users of the bike share monopoly’s app” with a code to unlock a free day pass.  But, while Nice Ride will be free on Earth Day in Minneapolis, Nice Ride Leaves St. Paul as Market for Scooters Heats Up with a rundown of why Nice Ride is leaving, scooter updates, and some details on Minneapolis Nice Ride service.

Minneapolis Public Works Scooter Map 2018

In 2018, Minneapolis scooters mostly started and ended trips in Downtown and the University area. Map: City of Minneapolis

Regular features

Walk: Walk with Max Hailperin as he’s Walking All the Streets of Southern Lind-Bohanon

Link: National Links: Superblocks and Infrastructure Gangs from Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire

Look: Map Monday: 1891 Panoramic Map of Minneapolis and Chart of the Day: Trips by Shared Micromobility 2018.

84 Million Trips by Micromobility in 2018

Micromobility Trips

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