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Sunday Summary – August 18, 2019

Do you have a draft post for you’d really like to finish?  Or maybe an idea which needs to get started?  Or just want some writerly conversation and assistance?  All will be available at’s first Post-a-Palooza – Thursday, August 22! at Blackstack Brewing.  How can we help you create great content?  For some more ideas, check out last week on

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Nicky Salica writes Bicycles, Gender, and Risk following up on a recent University of MN report finding women on bikes have a higher risk of cars encroaching (passing at less than 36″) than men riding.  She posits some reasons why this might be the case to conclude “riding a bike is not much different from any other facet of existing in public as a woman. It’s more dangerous than it is for men. What should be done? Better, more protected lanes, and less cars on the road would be a good place to start from.”

Matt Decuir identifies some Bike Routes to Get In and Out of Downtown St. Paul in response to a tweet suggesting there are none (or at least no good ones).  Acknowledging most routes are not so great, six are mapped with the best use for each. Commenters tweak the routes, object to some, make suggestions (take the bus or Green Line with your bike).

2. Como Eastbound

Como Eastbound route.

Getting around

John Edwards reports on the Minneapolis Park Board plans to make Uptown’s Mall: More Park, Less Parking, sayting “Right now in 2019, the Park Board’s Community Advisory Committee is considering an option to take some of this parking lot and make it a grassy multi-use field, passive green space, and sand volleyball court/s. I need to preemptively mention that the only time I’ve ever played volleyball is against my will during gym class. But I do really like the idea that The Mall could be devoted to a bunch of different things that aren’t parking.” Predictably, there is outrage about the loss of parking and, less predictably, about the volleyball.  The post includes plans, photos and a link to the Park Board survey and the hard truth that the plan is for 2030.

The Mall Plan

Conrad Zbikowski describes 12 Ideas to Improve Downtown Mobility in Minneapolis and asks for comments and suggestions.  Conrad’s list includes 20′ wide sidewalks, more skyways (which should displease some readers and writers), a “Circle Line” train, limiting parking, and better bike facilities. Commenters do weigh in with some disagreement (about skyways and transit use) and some amplification about bike facilities.

Ian Young asks Why did Centerpoint Energy Close the Greenway for 10 Days?  The post also gives the answer, but the problem remains with the “how” of the closing; Centerpoint closed the Greenway, “without providing any advance notice to the users of the trail. No signage was put in place in advance of the closure, and they did not notify the Midtown Greenway Coalition. They simply erected barricades and ripped up the trail.”  Commenters supply news of similar (no notice, poor detours, no signage) trail closings in other parts of the city.

Chris Steller has some examples of signs which might help alleviate or prevent gridlock in Waiting For a Sign: ‘Don’t Block the Intersection’.  The concept is simple – don’t enter the intersection if there’s not enough space across the intersection should the light change – but downtown Minneapolis drivers need some help.  Like signs:

Don't Block The Box

Don’t block the box sign (Photo: Fox News Austin, TX)

Housing story, continued

When last we heard from Brit Anbacht, they were in the early planning stages of determining what type of ADU could be built on their property.  And now we know in Brit Builds an ADU: The Surveyor and the Height Problem that Minneapolis height limits on ADUs are really limiting.  Code limits require detached ADUs not to exceed 20′ or the height of the principal structure whichever is less and that’s not much. Brit plans to request a height variance to build their ADU, but “given the already limited square footage, a simple maximum height limitation in line with existing two-story homes makes a lot more sense and would allow homeowners to build a wider variety of spaces appropriate to their needs and roof preferences.”

Lot 22

What sort of ADU can be built on this lot (Image: Brit Anbacht)

Regular features

Walk!  Summer is great for Walking All the Streets of Southwestern Longfellow with Max Hailperin.

Link!  National Links: QR Codes Just Slow Everyone Down and more links from around the country from Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire.

Black labrador retriever in pool with tennis ball in mouth

Dog days of summer

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