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. She is a member of the streets.mn Climate Committee.

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, […]

Kasota Ponds

What Good Are Climate Goals If They Aren’t Considered When Real Decisions Are Made?

What good are climate goals if they’re not considered when real decisions are made in our cities? It’s a recurring question heard in posts on streets.mn that soon will be addressed at the Saint Paul City Council’s March 4 meeting when it considers the appeal of a proposed development at 2495 Kasota Ave. The Council […]

Ford Ranger Vs F150

Twenty-Seven Years of Pickup Truck Design

Former Streetsblog USA writer Angie Schmitt has recently been making the point on Twitter that, despite the extremity of our climate crisis, the transition to sustainable transportation can’t be instantaneous because of our sprawling built environment. We therefore will need both EVs (maybe including ebikes, though she doesn’t address this) and smaller/safer vehicles for people […]

Climate Emergency

Pushback, Once Again

  This is the context, and we all know it: • Climate change is real and already causing devastating effects • Climate change is primarily caused by CO2 • Transportation accounts for the largest part of Minnesota’s CO2 increase • We need to act now Given that, let’s say you have a street (well, more […]

Dionne Warwick 407x229

Don’t Run Us Over

I wish I could sing or play an instrument, because I’d like to make a recording of the alternate lyrics I made up for the classic Dionne Warwick song “Don’t Make Me Over,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I may have been inspired by the version of “Old Town Road” about Saint Paul’s […]