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?

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