Friday, October 28, 2016

70s-Era Planner Confesses Role in Decades-Old Downzoning Plot

In commenting on the city's current plan to downzone the Wedge neighborhood, former Minneapolis city planner Perry Thorvig has given us some historical perspective. He starts off by celebrating the results of the 1975 downzoning:
The zoning scheme adopted in 1975 must have worked. It was gratifying to me and I'm sure many neighborhood residents, including former council member Meg Tuthill, that the recent study by city planner Brian Schaffer found that very little new development has occurred in the neighborhood since that rezoning was done forty years ago.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Who gets to live on our nicest streets?

Alex Cecchini has written a nicely comprehensive post outlining all the reasons it's a bad idea to force dense housing out of neighborhood interiors and onto the most noisy, polluted, dangerous streets in the city.

It's a timely post because the Wedge neighborhood is about to be downzoned. As Alex writes, the last time the neighborhood was downzoned, in 1975, it was happening in parallel with an equally successful movement to force dangerous high-speed car traffic out of the neighborhood's interior (a good thing). In other words, the city and neighborhood activists were making the neighborhood interior nicer/safer at the same time they were telling a certain kind of person in a certain kind of housing they have no business living there.

Read Alex's post for all the reasons why that's a problem.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lisa Goodman hates your minimum wage study

The Minneapolis City Council hired some economists from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs to produce this study on the impact of raising the local minimum wage. The study showed that raising the wage would not lead to economic apocalypse. The study did show that raising the wage to $15 would help a lot of people who need it--at the cost of an extra 50 cents to $1 for a $25 restaurant meal. Council Member Lisa Goodman was not happy with the results.