Some Minnesota legislators are introducing a "complete streets" bill that would design and build roads "right the first time" for multiple users, instead of exclusively for moving vehicles.
Winter helps illustrate the idea that pedestrian- and bike-friendly streets also work for cars, especially when heavy snow and ice build up around the city.
It's obvious that streets without icy intersections are safer for stopping vehicles as well as for pedestrians making their way across them. Likewise, streets cleared curb to curb create safer passing zones and bike lanes, leave better, more consistent parking zones.
It works the other way, too. If the emphasis is on clearing just enough for vehicles, cyclists must ride in the main lane or follow an unpredictable path.
On my ride downtown today, I stuck mainly to major streets and the riding was decent.
The worst spots were created by street parking that had impeded plows and by taxpayers who cleaned their own driveways by moving the snow into the streets after the plows had gone through.
In other words, wherever car owners treated the street as their exclusive domain.