Rethinking University Avenue before the trains roll

Another from the Pioneer Press, which was quite good today, I might add, I think it has become a better paper than the Star Tribune: Rethinking University Avenue before the trains roll discusses rezoning University in advance of the Central Corridor LRT.

“Change is hard. … A guy started his question to me last night, ‘University Avenue can’t be all housing and coffee shops.’ “

While I think upzoning University is a good idea given the virtual certainty of the LRT investment, there is clearly skepticism about the planners ideas. Perhaps the excessive use of renderings of upper middle class white people sipping Lattes on a retail street has come home to roost.
Nicollet Square rendering-thumb-400x130-73437

Nice Ride gets $1.78 million for expansion of bike sharing system | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Nice Ride gets $1.78 million for expansion of bike sharing system From the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.
This is apparently for a capital expansion, but as noted before, the system is quite expensive to operate, and requires more labor than buses on a per ride basis.
More to the point, this 4.5 million in capital (let’s say the capital lasts 4.5 years, or 1 million per year annualized)) is for a system that served 100,000 riders last year, and probably will continue at a similar level. This implies a capital subsidy of $10 per ride (not as expensive as NorthStar, but not cheap either). Obviously if they double use, this halves the capital subsidy, but it is not cheap. Just sayin’.

Can’t find a parking spot? Get a hybrid … or a baby.

From the Pioneer Press: Can’t find a parking spot? Get a hybrid … or a baby:
New types of restricted slots are popping up in local parking lots, but not everyone’s a fan.

This (at least the “fuel efficient cars” part is occurring because of LEED, which I have railed about before).
Buildings are not ‘energy efficient’ if they are surrounded by parking and require driving to get there, even if that parking privileges certain travelers, even if those cars are “fuel efficient”. Fuel efficiency should be its own reward. The enforcement hassle (is the car listed with some fuel efficiency list which no one knows and is not current?) make the whole thing a ridiculous game. This is not quite as bad as giving hybrids preference in HOV lanes, but almost as silly.