Author: Pat Thompson

Pat Thompson

About Pat Thompson

Pat Thompson is cochair of the St. Anthony Park Community Council's Transportation Committee, a member of Transition Town - All St. Anthony Park, and a gardener in public and private places. Last year, she ate hostas in spring and planted two chestnut trees in fall. She is a member of the streets.mn Climate Committee.

A miniature stone house with a green roof covered in yellow-green Sedum.

Miniature Garden Tour of Saint Paul

As an avid miniature gardener, I try to keep an eye out for other miniature gardens when I see them in public places. I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to organize a miniature garden tour, but I don’t think I will ever get it together since I’m too shy to go knock on strangers’ […]

A highway with a traffic light for left turns.

Highway 280: Put It Back the Way It Was

After the I-35W bridge was rebuilt, there has never been a chance for the people who live adjacent to highway 280 to say what they think about the livability of having the relatively sudden incursion of a permanent interstate next to them. Now MnDOT plans to increase the speed limit on highway 280 to 60 mph and in 2024, remove the last traffic signal. Does MnDOT care about livability, as they say they do?

Ramps, wide green leaves witih reddish bases

Eat Your Greens and Shoots: But Find Them First

As the ground thaws each spring, edible perennial plants wake up and are there for the taking if you know where and how to look. Follow a few rules so you’re safe and there’s enough for everyone.

Climate Emergency 500x295

Celebrating the 1-year Anniversary of the streets.mn Climate Committee

On December 29, 2019, seven people met at Dual Citizen Brewery in St. Paul, and there we created the streets.mn Climate Emergency Committee. We had a few in-person writing meet-ups before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, and even though none of us could anticipate the events that followed throughout the year of 2020, we maintained […]

A Street Not for People

Like many transit riders, I have been riding much less since the pandemic, mostly because I have been sticking closer to my home and neighborhood. (Though note: there is starting to be evidence that transit-riding is not a big contributor to COVID-19 rates.) That decrease is a personal sadness because of the lost human connections […]

Intersection of Energy Park Drive and U of M Transitway from the north

Observations from the 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Count

It was sunny and not quite 60 degrees when I unfolded my camp chair at the northwest corner of Energy Park Drive and the U of M Transitway on the edge of Saint Paul to count people walking or bicycling on a Thursday afternoon in September. I placed the chair right next to the beg […]

Median Starting

What It Takes to Have Nice Things

Planted medians are one of those “nice things” people always seem to be referring to in snarky social media posts. They bring visual relief to people near them and inspire traffic calming. We all know this. But where there’s soil, there’s also a place for weed seeds to fall, and those seeds grow into plants […]

dozens of chestnuts, about the size of the shown quarter

The City That Eats Together: A Climate Committee Tree Planting Event

Editor’s note: Julia wrote this piece prior to the killing of George Floyd and subsequent unrest. The last few days have again revealed the structural inequality that persists in our cities. These gaps come in many forms, including in access to food. As grocery stories have been destroyed or shuttered throughout many parts of the […]

Earth From Space

Earth Day Birth Day

On the first Earth Day, I was 10 years old. I don’t think I knew it had been declared Earth Day because I wasn’t even reading the newspaper yet. I was nearing the end of fifth grade, a pivotal year in my life when I began to form an anti-authoritarian attitude because I had what […]

Mndot 94 Process H

‘Rethinking’ I-94: When an Image Deceives

You may have heard about the Rethinking I-94 process that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has begun. When I hear those words, as a person concerned (alarmed!) about our climate crisis, I assume it means, you know, rethinking Interstate 94. Like: Do we need a highway through our cities? Could it be filled in, […]