safety / enforcement

The scale of a neighborhood

The idea of a neighborhood is a malleable concept.  Everyone has a different perception of their own neighborhood's extent, and the extent can change depending on context. It can vary from the very small, such as merely counting houses immediately adjacent to your own, to quite large—perhaps miles in size.

Back in my early childhood, my sense of my own neighborhood was toward the extremely small end.  I didn't think of it extending much more than a few houses away, though an exception was the nearby park, which my mother got a decent view of from her kitchen window.  Put another way, the extent of my neighborhood was about the maximum distance at which my brother and I could hear my parents calling us home for supper in the evenings. Read more >

Cedar Lake Trail Speed Limit - Back From the Grave

Be careful what you promise...

In spite of City promises, a 10 mph speed limit has been signed on the Cedar Lake Trail.  This is old news - I got the picture a couple months ago and I'd guess it was added in the City's signing binge around August or September.

I'm not necessarily opposed to speed limits for bicycles but I do have some questions about this particular speed limit:

1.  How and why was 10 mph chosen?  Why not 8?  or 13?  Does it have anything to do with the number of fingers on the average human hand?

2. Since this is the only speed limit sign on the Cedar Lake Trail (that I've seen), where does this speed zone begin or end?  If the speed limit is valid for the entire length of the trail, how are cyclists supposed to know before they come across this sign?

3.  Why is it dangerous for a bicycle to go 11 mph on a facility that's seperated from all traffic except bicycles, but it's safe for a bicycle to go 25 or 30 mph in mixed traffic?

The Urban Future of Hiawatha Avenue

Surely We Can Do Better Than This

There is an opportunity to create a more humane, livable Hiawatha Avenue, and, to try out a metaphor, now may be the time to step out in to the intersection and begin our journey across. Hiawatha Avenue should become an urban boulevard that unites neighborhoods rather than divides them, particularly near light rail stations where pedestrian counts have steadily increased since light rail service began and development continues to occur. What’s nice is I’m not the only one who believes this. Read more >

Open space as wasted space?

This is open space?

This is “open space”- between the rear of the Super Target and the parking lot for the pancake house. It has a bike path that connects virtually no one to no where. It’s convenient if you want to bike from the Original Pancake House, behind the Target, down a quarter of a mile of big box loading docks, past the Chucky Cheese to the Office Max. Read more >

Top 10 (Lightweight) Items to Pack in Your Panniers


Ever since my first dispatch from the road I have been mentioning (complaining?) about the weight of the stuff I’ve been hauling over mountain passes, through canyons, and to places that are in the middle of nowhere. I decided I would throw a bone to the cyclists in the crowd as the question I most frequently asked to anyone I could catch on cycling tour before starting the Ride the Talk campaign was, “What item is the most valuable to you on your trip?”

It is amazing how after a few days of travel you discover what is important and what is just dead weight. As one cyclist put it, “Whatever you discover in the bottom of you panniers at the end of the trip is what you didn’t need.” I decided not to wait until the end of the trip to tell you what’s risen to the top. Read more >

Not exactly a Frogger situation

The intersection of Pleasant St. & Arlington St.

The intersection at Pleasant and Arlington Streets on the University of Minnesota's East Bank got some new traffic lights to handle a projected increase in traffic flow. But what's up with those pushbutton-activated "Walk" signs? Read more >

Bicycle safety ad - for motor vehicle drivers

From a Dutch government campaign aimed at improving safety for bicycle riders. Via Copenhagenize >

Pedestrians and Traffic

A video from Jay Mallin highlights how pedestrians are often forced to "interfere with traffic" to get across the street.  

New Study on Cycletracks

A cycletrack in Montreal

A much anticipated study on cycletracks in Montreal was just released.  Thanks to the authors for making it an open access article.  Read more >