Author: Janne Flisrand

Janne Flisrand

Janne Flisrand spends her time thinking about how people interact with the space around them. Why do they (or don't they) walk or bike or shop somewhere? How do spaces feel? Why do people sit here and not there? Why bus instead of bike, bike instead of drive? What sorts of spaces build community, and what sorts kill it? Can spaces build civic trust and engagement?

Franklin Avenue Can’t Be Everything for Everybody

This post was written by Will Delaney, Associate Director at Hope Community, Inc. It is cross-posted from the Our Streets Minneapolis blog. Our Streets and Hope Community  have been working together to make Franklin Avenue a safer street since 2008. This June, the rebuilt Franklin Avenue bridge over I-35W re-opened after being closed for more […]

Franklin Sidewalk at Park

Does ADA Even Apply to Sidewalks?

I live just off Franklin, and have regularly bussed and biked along it for decades. One day many years ago, I was surprised to see someone rolling down the east-bound traffic lane in a wheelchair. It was on that particularly harrowing section of Franklin between Portland and Chicago. I immediately wondered what was so wrong […]

Utility Pole in the Sidewalk on Franklin

Map Monday: Hennepin County Sidewalks & ADA

I’ve been learning about what the Americans with Disabilities Act requires when it comes to our sidewalks. Here, I want to share my single favorite discovery. Hennepin County has an interactive online map with photo images and descriptions of every intersection, curb cut, signal actuation/beg button, and sidewalk obstruction on county streets. That map is […] Seeks Proposals for a Volunteer Support Consultant

The board is committed to supporting our volunteer writers. We’ve fundraised toward that goal for a couple years, and we’re excited to post an RFP inviting people to say, “Pick me! Pick me!” We’re excited to hear from writers past, present, and potential to learn what motivates writers and how we can support the […]

image of 4th with a 2-way bike lane

Reconstruct 4th Street the Right Way

Philip Schwartz recently shared this letter with me and gave me permission to share it here. A vote is happening on is Tuesday, November 28th. Agree or disagree with him, instructions for how to weigh in are below. As a daily user of 4th Street through Downtown Minneapolis, I have been excited and involved since planning […]

We Must Foster Opportunity on Hennepin Avenue

At the Lowry Hill Ice Cream Social a couple weeks ago, my neighbors asked me what I think about the Peris development proposal by The John and Denise Graves Foundation for affordable youth housing. It’s tucked on an awkward, oddly shaped parcel between Colfax and Hennepin Avenue, right where the freeway exit dumps drivers out […]

11 Reasons I’ll Attend Thursday’s Fundraiser

The annual fundraiser party is coming up on December 1st! You’re invited to join the party (RSVP here) and in return, please do your part and donate. Here are a few reasons I donate – add yours in the comments: I love reading 46+ comment threads, especially the ones parsing “tax levies” and “tax rates,” parking […]

The Garden and The Rose

The Garden at The Rose Grows More than Food

Let’s grow more food in our neighborhoods. Victory Gardens provided about a third of the vegetables grown in the US during WWII and I appreciate the food I get from my yard. I think even more important is the community-building that grows in urban gardens. I wrote previously about my own cherry tree and I have a […]

Tescil working on a survey with Deveon Thao

Rider Requests for Better Bus Stops

At, our writers notice bus stops, and we aren’t shy to share our own opinions. On the other hand, we don’t seem to go out and ask other people riding the bus for theirs. Luckily, Metro Transit has found some community engagement funding to hire local community members to do “Better Bus Stops” outreach […]

Me with the sibkid on the tag-along.

Fix the One-Way Trails, Please

My 7-year-old sibkid “K” spent a week with me in the Big City so she could go to day camp. I registered K at a “nearby” program (that K loved). But Lake Harriet Upper Elementary School isn’t THAT nearby. I’d hoped we could practice riding bikes initially, as K is still working on that skill, but […]