Close up of plant, with dog foot about to step on it

Sunday Summary – May 12, 2019

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Apartment department

Conrad Zbikowski offers another preview of a new mixed use building going up  with the Iron Clad Mixed-Use Development Opening “Mid-June” at the southeast corner of Chicago and Washington Avenues in the Mill District.  More policy-related, he also crunches some numbers to find It’s Impossible to Afford Rent on the Minimum Wage both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul current minimum wages or the $15.00 hour rate they are working toward (based on the 30% of income standard of affordability). Commenters note that this state of affairs is not new, but they faced comparable challenges in the 1970s and 1990s.

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Screenshot of median rent map


Bikes, looking back and ahead

What’s in a Bicycle? asks Fred Kreider after buying his first ever brand new bike after years of riding. The answer: “But, when taken in abstract, as a vehicle that weighs 29 pounds and (god forbid) can be disassembled to fit in the backseat of a car, the bicycle is an extremely versatile instrument of freedom, recreation, independence and joy.”

Alan Grahn Memorial Ride: May 16, 2018 (Video) is the record James Kohls made of the ride held last May in memory of Alan Grahn. Grahn was killed by the driver of a school bus at the corner of Summit and Snelling.

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New Bike Day


Other good ideas

When Quality of Life Initiatives Make Places Worse from Christa Moseng critiques Metro Transit’s Respect, Kindness, Inclusivity initiative and asks, “What specifically is Metro Transit doing wrong? They’re announcing, on lighted signs and in amplified announcements that the Metro Transit Code of Conduct is subject to police enforcement. That is, it’s gone from a campaign of social encouragement, to a command with the explicit (repeated) threat of force under color of law.” Plus, the Code of Conduct itself is “vague and overbroad” making police enforcement even more problematic.

It’s Spring! Plant a Boulevard Garden says Jenny Werness, and so she did (without consulting the map below, apparently). This post is a photo-celebration of boulevard gardens (her own and many others) plus a helpful how-to guide for figuring out what to plant in a space subject to a variety of insults from salt, snow piles, dogs, and more.

Brandon Long makes The Case for a Saint Paul Flag Redesign because “People are aware that countries and states have flags but for the most part people don’t know that their city has a flag as well. The reason most people don’t realize their city has a flag is because they are generally terrible.”  There’s a review of the current flag and some proposals for a new one.

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Possible new Saint Paul flags? (Redesign ideas by Joe Totten and Kevin Gallatin)


Regular features

Look! Map Monday: Minnesota Plant Hardiness Zones or, is it too early to plant those non-frost hardy plants?  And three charts:  Chart of the Day: Fuel Economy, Weight, and Horsepower, 1975 – 2018Chart of the Day: Typical Distances By Transportation Mode, Log Scale, and Chart of the Day: Overnight Green Line Rider Trip Purpose.

Link! National Links: Atlanta to Woonerf and the Importance of Shade with more links from around the country from Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire.

Plant Hardiness Zones, Minnesota

Can I plant it yet?


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