90% of Life is Showing Up

Sage words from Woody Allen that apply to everyone who had or made the time to come to White Bear Lake’s Open House on the U.S. 61 project last night. Kudos to the City for creation of the white-bear-lake-at-a-glance map that provided for several conversations. NE Bike Walk also was invited to speak at the Rotary meeting this morning to talk about the connectivity of speed to livable and walkable communities and economic development. No tomatoes were thrown, making me think the message was embraced and people will get involved.

The discussion this morning, and an exchange last night about speed, prompted this idea. Ready? Typically MNDOT will tell those of us who are new to the rules of the state transportation department that the primary way speed is decided is by an average of how fast people drive. 85% of whatever speed people drive on a road is what the speed limit is determined to be.

The State of Minnesota definition for “traffic” included pedestrians, herded animals, bikes…so every conceivable method of conveyance and mobility. Of course there are select roads, say 35E, that most people would only walk along if they were looking for a gas station or a hastily tossed engagement ring. But for our Main Street of U.S. 61 the State”s definition of traffic applies. So here’s the idea for the modern speed study…measure the speed of EVERYONE who is allowed to use the road and then take the average. Actually meld Complete Streets thinking into  the methodology for setting speed. What do you think?


Our Appeal to WBL City Officials

There is an open house in White Bear Lake on Tuesday the 15th. It will be held in the White Bear Lake Public Safety Training Room behind City Hall. It starts at 6:30. At that time the City will show its plan for using space on the U.S. 61 corridor through White Bear Lake. There is a piece being printed on the White Bear Press opinion page the same week, but it will come out after the meeting. People in the community need to know about this meeting and since the notice in the paper will come out too late, we’ve attached a copy of the letter we e-mailed to Council Members and the Mayor. Please forward a link to this blog to whoever you know in and around White Bear to get the word out and educate people before they go to this event.

To WBL Council Members


Kids and Cars

This might sound a bit dramatic, but it represents the worst case scenario; the most vulnerable meeting the least vulnerable. So consider all of the potential combinations…bikes, wheelchairs, slow walker, runners, bike taxis, cars, motorcycles…..you get the idea. Then go to the NE Bike Walk Poll and tell us your thoughts on speed on White Bear Lake’s Main Street


Curbside Chat

On October 29 we are partnering with the City of White Bear Lake to bring Chuck Marohn to town to speak.Chuck is the president and co-founder of Strongtowns.org. His presentation starts at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at the Police training facility behind City Hall.

Strong Towns is a non-profit organization that supports a model for growth that allows America’s towns to become financially strong and self-sufficient. Strong Towns advocates a new approach to town planning that accounts for the full cost of growth—one that is needed to make our towns strong again.

Chuck is traveling across Minnesota to deliver his Curbside Chat to communities. His presentation was created for local officials and key community leaders and has five parts:

  1. Background on the current financial crisis.
  2. The triggers forcing changes in the way we inhabit the landscape.
  3. The “dead ideas” we need to overcome to renew prosperity in our towns and neighborhoods.
  4. What the coming new economy is likely to look like.
  5. What local leaders can do to position their communities for success in the new era.

Here is the flyer: Marohn Info 1029 presentation