It’s Twin Cities Marathon Day! Like the City of Lakes Loppet and countless smaller events, the Marathon gives people a reason to spend time outside on and along the streets and in the parks getting to know the Cities better. No doubt the runners understand the topography better than anyone after 26.2 miles of up and down running (and especially the biggest ascent of the race between miles 20 and 22), but all will appreciate the shade on hotter days, the variety of neighborhoods, and (if the tradition continues) retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page playing his sousaphone near Kenwood Park.
Pat Thompson considers the Sports Industrial Complex for Kids in Sustainable Child Play after a Twitter exchange about the lack and cost of transit choices for getting kids to games, “Essentially, organized youth sports are a carbon-wasting juggernaut of parental guilt and vicarious living. With their traveling teams and ultra competitiveness, they’re a cultural form of childhood that has only existed for a few decades, but are now treated as if they’re an essential part of middle-class child life and all our transportation choices must be made to accommodate them.”
Monica Millsap Rasmussen brings us another installment of the Transpo Convo: What’s Important on the Way to School walking with her daughter, “My family appreciates the walk and the moments when we notice what would otherwise be missed. For example, the fork in the road:”
Fremont Bridge Closure Caps off Crappy Season for Minneapolis Bike Trails says Ian Young. Reviewing the projects this year (none intended to improve the bike infrastructure, he observes), he concludes, “We need advocates for trail users during the hard, boring, everyday work of reviewing project plans and drafting budgets and reviewing timelines. We need someone to challenge project engineers on which impacts are truly necessary and which are merely convenient. And we need someone to occasionally put a foot down and perhaps say no, an 11-week closure is not “good enough”.” Commenters observe that street closures for cars simply mean the inconvenience of an alternative route, but closing major bike trails forces people riding onto much less safe routes or much longer ones, because there are not the same alternatives.
Risa Hustad gives the Minnesota River Bridge: an E for Effort. The reconstruction of the Interstate 35W bridge in Burnsville is well underway and the project includes bicycle and pedestrian facilities except, “There’s a catch, though. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) released the final plans for the crossing this past July, and the trail stops short of clearing the annual flood line on the Minnesota River Bottoms. According to correspondence with MnDOT, the plans were designed to connect the new trail to an existing recreational trail, the Black Dog Trail. Travelers will exit the new bridge on a ramp that hugs the inside of the new on-ramp to northbound I-35W from Black Dog Road, cross the exit and entrance ramps to Black Dog Road, and proceed onto the existing Black Dog Trail.” Which is flooded and has been for 116 days so far in 2019. The post calls for some advocacy to convince MnDOT and Burnsville that a solution is needed.
Politics, one door at a time
Door-Knocking and Street-Musing by Pat Thompson reflects on recent door-knocking and finds a deepened appreciation of walking around a neighborhood saying, “I talked to just a few people each day I door-knocked who seemed open to conversing with a stranger, and they helped me go on. I can’t say it’s invigorating for an introvert like me, but it’s definitely educational, as well as important to maintaining the streets as public places where democracy happens. Plus you get to look at a lot of plants.”
Link: National Links: 10 Years of New York’s High Line with curated links from Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire
Listen: Podcast #126: Saint Paul Climate Action with Chelsea DeArmond. Bill Lindeke talks to Chelsea DeArmond (a founder of Saint Paul’s 350.org chapter of the international climate action group).