March 7, 2013

A new 66th Street

Last May, I moved to Richfield, an aging first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. In many ways, Richfield is indistinguishable from the neighborhoods in the City of Minneapolis to the north — development is largely the same age, blocks are numbered the same, and the grid is the same scale. Population density and auto ownership are largely similar, as are access to transit. The main difference is the streets; Richfield, being built as a new suburban community in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, emphasized the automobile in every way. If sidewalks were included at all in a street, they were a narrow, uncomfortable afterthought.

Which brings us to today’s 66th Street, which is designated at Hennepin County State Aid Highway 53. 66th, along with Portland Ave, is scheduled to be completely reconstructed in 2015-2016. 66th Street, more than any other street, is Richfield “main street” — one of its busiest, and with the most consistent mix of residential and commercial uses. (66th does continue west into Edina, but as this project only concerns the portion from Xerxes to Cedar in Richfield, that is the portion I am referring to when I say “66th”.)


Today’s 66th Street is mostly a narrow 4-lane, undivided street. Above is a typical signalized intersection, at E 66th and S 12th Ave. It is entirely a 35 mph speed zone. In the central portion, from Penn to Nicollet, narrow medians have been added, as well as turn lanes and some protected left-turn movements. Sidewalks were widened slightly in this portion, but boulevard trees are rare, and the pedestrian realm is still very poor. At Portland Ave and Richfield Pkwy (which is 17th Ave, curving into Old Cedar Ave), signals have been replaced with roundabouts.

So what will the new 66th Street look like? We don’t know yet, but there are a few safe assumptions:

  1. The roundabouts will be retained at Portland and Richfield Pkwy.
  2. There will be some lane removal, at least between Portland Ave and Cedar Ave.
  3. In areas where it drops to two lanes, there will likely be a “suicide lane” or dedicated turn lanes.
  4. Four lanes will likely be retained in the vicinity of 35W and Lyndale Ave, as this area has a traffic count over 20,000 ADT.
  5. Sidewalks will be widened, at least enough to meet modern ADA standards.
  6. There will probably be a bike lane, at least between Portland and Cedar.


For the portion between Portland and Cedar, we know a bit more, because this portion underwent a corridor planning process a couple of years ago. One of the possible cross sections for that is shown above. These recommendations will be included in the design of the new 66th Street.

Except for the assumptions I’ve listed above, the rest of the corridor is a mystery for now. Richfield has published a “guiding principles” document that highlights a lot of warm fuzzies that are supposed to be included. How those warm fuzzies will be balanced with the needs (and perceived “needs”) of cars and traffic is not specified.


But here’s my best-case scenario for 66th St: Lake Street (above). Lake Street, which is also a Hennepin County road, underwent a massive reconstruction in the mid-2000s, from Dupont Ave all the way to the Mississippi River. Lake Street, which was once a dilapidated, auto-only street has become gradually urbanized and has seen new investment, especially in the area near the Hiawatha light rail line. The new street design featured improved lighting, street trees, wider sidewalks, narrower lanes. Unfortunately, bike lanes were not included, and the street remains a barrier for cyclists.


My worst-case scenario is yet another Hennepin County road, Bottineau Boulevard (above). Bottineau, in the first-ring suburb of Robbinsdale, was reconstructed even more recently than Lake Street. It features many of the attractive streetscape elements (stamped concrete, pretty lighting) that Lake St did, but with a high, 40-mph speed limit, limited sidewalks, and wide travel lanes. It looks urban, but it’s miles from creating a truly urban street.

So more specifically, here’s my dream 66th Street:

Bike lanes from Xerxes to Cedar, with sharrows at the roundabouts

As I said, this is likely to be included in the eastern portion anyway. Unfortunately, the bicycle master plan shows the bike lanes being detoured awkwardly to 65th Street near Nicollet. Roundabouts pose an added barrier for cyclists, as it generally proven to increase cycling accidents to include a separate bike lane in the roundabout. The simplest solution is probably to encourage bike to merge into the stream of automotive traffic and use sharrows approaching the roundabout.

(At least) 10’-wide sidewalks, with street trees planted along the entire corridor

Sidewalks are likely to be at least 10’ wide through the entire corridor. Street trees are not a given; however, they are presumed in the eastern portion. In residential areas, it would be preferable to have a grassy boulevard if possible.

11’ travel lanes

This is not a given, unfortunately, and 12’ lanes may be used. 11’ lanes are more than wide enough for urban traffic and encourage cars to slow down.

30 mph speed zone

This is unlikely, but I think woud truly bring us closer to an urban street. Especially between Penn and Nicollet, 66th Street would benefit from a lower design speed and speed limit.

Pedestrian-scale lighting and buried utility lines

This will almost certainly be included. The pedestrian-scale lighting used at the roundabouts and near Lyndale/66th improves the pedestrian experience and lights the street far more effectively.

Buffers for all existing parking lots

This will probably be included as well. However, the preferable long-term option is to simply build zero-setback buildings. In some redevelopment, this has been followed. Unfortunately, the brand-spankin’-new Lyndale Station was an enormous setback (get it?) to this goal. Hopefully land development standards will catch up to urban design needs; otherwise, we will be at the mercy of what business and developers want.

More designated crossing points

There are several areas where there is a need for more easy pedestrian crossing of 66th, especially between 35W (about six blocks west of Lyndale) and Portland Ave. I believe that a marked crosswalk with pedestrian refuge island would suffice for most of these crossing points.

Automatic pedestrian signals

This is something I have already been discussing with Hennepin County, and is a real possibility. The way Hennepin County pedestrian signals work, they display a “don’t walk” symbol unless a button is pushed — regardless of whether there is time for the pedestrian to cross under the existing green. I would like to see an automatic walk signal and countdown on all legs at major intersections (like Penn, Lyndale, and Nicollet). I think “beg buttons" could be retained to cross 66th at minor lights like 12th Ave and Bloomington Ave, while pedestrians crossing those minor streets along 66th should receive an automatic signal. This would be roughly in-line with how the City of Minneapolis programs its pedestrian signals.

July 6, 2012

Communicating cycling, in Denmark and Minnesota

My mom tipped me off to this great video, put out by a group of municipalities in suburban Copenhagen. What they’re showing off is they “Cykelsuperstier”, or “Super Cycle Tracks” that they’re beginning to construct. The Danish cycle track is pretty much a slightly upgraded version of the Minneapolis-style cycle track, with the addition of a curb between the cycle track and the parking. The Super Cycle Tracks have the addition of “green wave” lights: if you hold a 20 km/h pace (about 12 mph — a moderate, but not sluggish, pace for Joe Commuter), you’ll have continuous green lights on your route.

But what’s interesting about the video for me right now isn’t the infrastructure itself, but the way cycling is being communicated. Put simply, it looks a lot more fun than driving. The cyclists of all ages and types are pedaling pleasantly along, while the driver is in stop-and-go traffic, spewing out a little smog each time he accelerates. You’ll note that while cyclists are riding correctly and are presumably following the lights, there’s no mention of cyclists’ compliance with the law or need to be on constant lookout for drivers.

Now let’s take a look at a similar video done by City of Minneapolis:

This video is not animated, but rather live footage of people on city streets, eerily void of other traffic. While the lyrics proclaim, “I ride my bicycle to work, every day”, neither rider shown is apparently doing anything functional on their bike, since neither have any pack or baggage with them. We see some sloppy left-turn signalization from the male/hipster cyclist around 0:20. But that’s not what really pisses me off. That starts just after Mr. Fixie’s left turn:

"And I try to ride really safe. I stop at all the stop signs, and look both left and right"

Here we see the female cyclist perform a stop that seems to last six or seven minutes — a remarkable feat for a one-minute ad. She makes a COMPLETE-complete stop and dismounts her bike. She then makes eye contact with the driver, thus indicating that — despite being on a bicycle — she isn’t a threat to the great middle-aged, Prius-driving constituency of Minneapolis. She then proceeds to crane her neck left and right at this all-way stop, then slowly remount her bike and continue her ride — I suppose for exactly one block, where she will stop and begin this ordeal all over again.

"I always wear a helmet"

The safety factors of helmets continue to be widely disputed, but while the Copenhagen video rather agnostically shows a diversity of helmet use among cyclists, this shows only helmeted cyclists, and obnoxiously reminds cyclists of their responsibility to coat their head in styrofoam to protect themselves against drivers’ irresponsibility.

"and reflectors at night"

Minnesota law actually requires a front light and rear reflector — but you’d be stupid not to get lights for both. When putting so much responsibility on cyclists for helmets, it seems bizarre not even to proclaim the actual legal requirement for lights.

But of course, the goal of this video shouldn’t be to give bicycles exact legal requirements — and certainly not to scold them about things the law doesn’t even require of them. Like the Copenhagen video, it should be fun. It should make cycling more attractive than driving. Minneapolis’s video completely fails.

March 26, 2012

This League of American Cyclists video is informational, but troublingly exclusive. The cyclist shown is probably cruising at about 20-25 mph, in full cycling gear. The behaviors shown are perfectly safe, but for the vast majority of cyclists, very uncomfortable. I consider myself fairly comfortable in “taking the lane” (or “controlling”, as they say in this video). However, even I know there are certain streets where that will evoke more hostility than it’s worth. It is not a universal strategy.

The video also fails to acknowledge that bicycles are not motor vehicles, and while they can behave as (slow-moving) vehicles, they don’t need to if their rider is not comfortable in that position. For example, the left-turning movement shown is fine. But at major intersections with a lot of lanes, I usually prefer to cross two corners (as you would as a pedestrian). On busier streets, this allows cyclists to dismount and use pedestrian right-of-way. And for most people, this is a more comfortable movement than merging across several lanes, with traffic to one’s back.

In any case: this video seems to be preaching to the choir. Those who would be comfortable riding like this are those who already know these kind of movements. Largely due to infrastructure and partially due to attitude, the 99% of the (potentially) cycling public are ignored.

March 20, 2012

A quick tour of Northfield’s ADA fails on E Jefferson Pkwy. At at least three intersections, a median with no curb cuts blocks the crosswalk. At a fourth, the crosswalk is unlawfully angled around the median, which otherwise blocks it.

This street was built in the 2000s, well after the ADA requirements established this. Ironically, they all have the standard, ADA-required curb ramps from the sidewalks; they just aren’t actually usable for wheelchairs, strollers, etc. without leaving the crosswalk. A median can actually be a great thing for pedestrians. Not the way it was done here, however.

February 26, 2012

I’m getting very frustrated by the arbitrary use of “Lorem Ipsum” humans in urban designers’ work (Lorem Ipsum being the meaningless filler text used by graphic designers). Here, some absurd examples from Richfield and Bloomington redevelopment plans. My personal favorite is the multiple people just, you know, relaxing and catching up between six-lane, 35-mph American Blvd and a massive surface lot.

February 25, 2012

The Ole Store: Still not a permitted use

I love talking about streets, sidewalks, and traffic safety. But one of Northfield’s biggest problems when it comes to walkability is not infrastructure or driver behavior, but a lack of walkable destinations for daily needs. At my residence, I have a Walk Score of 43. The closest store is the AmCon gas station on Water Street, at 0.8 miles. The second-closest store is the Walgreens at W 5th St and Highway 3, at about a mile even. Neither store really invites walking, and Walgreens is not particularly pleasant to walk to. This situation is mediocre, but workable.

In newer parts of town, however, it is much worse. The southeast quadrant (east of Division Street, surrounding E Jefferson Pkwy) is the best example of our newest, single-use development. I always like to pick on Ontario Circle, the New Urbanist cul de sac. From Ontario Circle to the nearest grocery store, it is two miles even, or a 1.5-hour round trip. Even to a gas station or convenience store, about a mile (40-minute round trip). To the gym? 1.9 miles, at least. Even if the housing forms and streets were perfect, they really do little when you want to do more than walk your dog to the decorative New Urbanist gazebo and back. (Yes, there is actually a decorative faux-small-town gazebo in Ontario Circle.)

The Planning Commission recognized this problem, which is why the new Land Development Code (LDC) creates a “neighborhood” zone, a new type of residential zone. This allows more variation in housing density, and also allows what it calls neighborhood-serving commercial. All good, right? Well, the devil’s in the details (emphasis added):

Neighborhood-serving Commercial Small scale commercial uses, including retail, personal services, or professional offices, that are not otherwise included as Permitted or Conditional Uses in the N2-B district, that reflect the neighborhood character or the surrounding residential context with respect to form, scale, and massing. This definition does not include adult uses, auto service stations, drive through establishments, firearms dealers, and gasoline stations (fuel sales). A neighborhood-serving commercial use is intended to serve the residents of the local area and not be a destination site for the general community that would encourage motorized traffic. Commercial or retail uses intended to draw from a larger area, and/or having a substantial reliance on vehicle-based customer trips, are better located in commercial districts.

The trouble with this is that it’s not clear what actually would be allowed. I live above the Ole Store, a restaurant in a residential area, near the college. It’s also the only commercial land use north of W 5th St and west of the Highway 3 strip.

Honestly, the restaurant is a small town urbanist’s wet dream: a historic building with a great relationship to the street, a job-provider, and a community/neighborhood hub. But it’s still not compatible with the new LDC. Why? Because it is in fact “a destination site for the general community” and does “encourage motorized traffic”. The business of the restaurant is not disruptive to the neighborhood. (Having lived above it for six months, I am quite sure I would have noticed.) And while it does attract motorized traffic, that traffic is handled appropriately (with on-street parking and in a moderately sized parking lot, on the side of the building). This type of land use ought to be allowed in the Neighborhood zones, because it’s the form, not the use, that generally matters. It is nice that this allows for very small-scale commercial uses — but uses that are small-scale enough to meet the requirement for the Neighborhood zone aren’t large enough to serve as meaningful neighborhood hubs.

February 19, 2012   1 note   
Concrete: think harder.

Concrete: think harder.

February 18, 2012

Thoughts on “elitism”

Some one is wrong on the internet

About a week ago, I was involved in a tense comment thread on the Northfield News website on Northfield’s new land development code (LDC), particularly as it applies to 3-car garages. (Under the new rules, attached garages are capped at 24 feet, and they must be at least six feet behind the main façade of the house.) Many citizen voices, who have apparently ignored the multi-year LDC process are now coming forward demanding their right to a 3-car garage, and quickly dismiss any safety or community effects of those garages.

This became particularly interesting when Dundas city councilor Nathan Ryan joined the thread to disagree with the LDC and note that Dundas permits three-car garages. I wrote cattily about Dundas’s current development situation (two nearly dead developments, one that is so disconnected from the City of Dundas that it is not possible to get to City Hall on any street without leaving the City). I said (and still believe) that many of the problems in Dundas come from giving developers and property owners too much leeway, and allowing the “market” to determine how a town should be built. Some excerpts from Ryan’s response:

You sound like someone who is an elitist

Again you sound like an elitist.

Nice Sean. Emotional Intelligence is more important and [sic] IQ, I would suggest reading up on it, it’s obvious they are not teaching it in college.

In my ever-humble opinion, the tone is inappropriate for an elected official in a public forum. But the more substantively interesting matter is his use of the term elitist. I often face accusations of being elitist. This is unsurprising, since I’ve long understood elitism basically associated with anyone who has a progressive viewpoint. But I think it’s actually different than that: what I’ve consistently found is that being “elitist” seems to have very little to do with what one believes,  but rather with how snidely (or eloquently) one expresses those beliefs.

Let’s look more at Dundas. I was elitist, in Cm. Ryan’s viewpoint, because I criticized the scars of failed development (unfinished roads, sewer pipes sitting out, etc) and the fact that the entire development was poorly conceived in relation to the town.


Finding this objectionable, as a permanent state of affairs, is elitist.

But what about the development itself? Like many suburban developments, Dundas’s Bridgewater Heights is set up in the “pod” format, meaning that the different product offerings are wholly separate. Put a bit less delicately, this mandates that all the too-poor, too-young, or too-old are placed in a single ghetto, with literally one way in or out. The single-family homes (read: middle class or above) are safely outside this area, and need not be directly exposed to the squalor of townhomes. This is unambiguous economic discrimination, waged by private developers to create what they believe to be a higher-value product.


Actual view of the completed portion of Bridgewater Heights. The single-family homes are safely to the right, with a 80’-wide street safely separating them from the multi-family pod.

There are rigid standards to ensure that the too-poor, too-young, or too-old don’t muck up the single-family home area. These are called covenants, which is a contract tied to the lot, and is essentially land development standards set by a private industry rather than an open, public process. Bridgewater Heights’ covenants for single-family homes regulate, among other things:

I might come off as elitist, and at times I might be elitist. But wanting communities to have a physically pleasurable, sustainable environment is not elitist. Writing into a contract that a home cannot be too small or accomodate too few cars (read: that the owner is not too poor)… well, I’ll avoid the “e”-word, but that seems like a more troubling form of exclusion and judgment.

February 15, 2012

Reading Northfield’s Rental Ordinance

I gave Northfield’s controversial rental ordinance a quick read before I signed my first lease a year ago. Now that it’s being challenged in court — and I prepare to find housing for June 1 — I thought I’d give it a more thorough read. So, the highlights:

Sec. 14-78.  Purpose and scope.

To the extent that any standards of this article apply only to rental properties in R-1 and R-2 districts of the city, such standards are based on a finding by the city council that low density residential neighborhoods in the city are comprised primarily of owner-occupied single family dwellings and are designed and intended to be quiet, orderly, and safe neighborhoods for children and others, and that the quiet enjoyment and value of properties in such neighborhoods may be adversely impacted by the existence of rental properties occupied by groups of unrelated adults, where occupants tend to have more motor vehicles, generate greater traffic and parking congestion, and generate other adverse impacts on the neighborhood such as noise and disorderly conduct.

I appreciate that they make no attempts to hide that they assume all renters and rental properties to be a drain on the community.

Built-in deficiencies.

Okay, this bit seems reasonable: despite fairly nit-picky building standards, they do acknowledge that certain things can’t easily be helped in existing properties.

Right of entry. When it is necessary to make an inspection for purposes of this article, or when the building official has reasonable cause to believe there exists on a rental property a condition which is contrary to or in violation of this article, the building official may enter the rental property or any part thereof at reasonable times to inspect and otherwise perform the duties imposed by this article, provided that if such rental property is occupied, city credentials must be presented to the occupant and entry requested. If such rental property is unoccupied, the building official shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the property and request entry. If entry is refused, the building official shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry.

I’m not a lawyer, but this seems like a questionable search. It is reasonable to say that rental permits cannot be renewed without inspection; however, saying that the City may enter at any “reasonable times” just to make sure everything is in compliance doesn’t seem like a legitimate search. Update: I’m not the only one with these concerns, apparently. There’s an ongoing case between the City of Red Wing and renters/landlords in the city. The Supreme Court of MN recently ruled that the plaintiffs have standing to challenge this rule, but it hasn’t yet been decided whether the searches are, in fact, unconstitutional. I would note that Red Wing’s language actually isn’t as strong as Northfield’s. Anyway, back to Northfield. On to definitions:

Let is to give the use of a dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit by an owner, agent or manager to an occupant in return for rent.

This suggests that an owner renting to a roommate requires a rental license (and is presumably subject to the same quotas — more on that below). This seems like it could be especially problematic for unmarried couples, if only one is the legal owner of the property.

Sec. 14-97. Limitation on rental properties in low density neighborhoods. In R-1 and R-2 districts in the city, no more than 20 percent of the houses on a single block shall be granted rental housing licenses. For purposes of this section, the word house shall mean a single structure containing one or more rental units. A single block shall be defined as the houses on both sides of a street between successive intersecting streets or between other such boundaries including college campus boundaries, railroad rights of way, corporate limit lines, or physical features such as rivers, outcroppings, ponds or lakes.

This is the most problematic part of the whole ordinance. Besides setting an arbitrary limit on rental properties, the definition of block is potentially problematic for most of the city. Does a 3-way intersection count as a separation of blocks? Certainly long blocks (like N Linden St or N Plum St) aren’t divided. If block quotas must be set, it seems to make more sense to use address blocks than the actual intersecting streets.

And now for some fun stuff:

Sinks shall be of nonabsorbent materials.

Bathrooms shall be separated from food preparation areas by a tight fitting door.

Heating. All units shall be provided with heating appliances capable of maintaining a room temperature of 68 degrees F at a point 3 feet above the floor in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and water closet compartments.

That one would be news to my landlord. Of course, it really depends on how cold it is outside, doesn’t it?

Every habitable room shall be provided with at least one switched light and 2 duplex outlets.

That would also be news to my landlord. Guess the City hasn’t been keeping up with its random rental searches.

Security locks. All exit doors from all units shall provide security from unlawful entry and shall be provided with a dead-bolt lock which is operable from the inside without the use of a key, special knowledge, or extraordinary effort.


Energy conservation. Doors and windows shall be maintained in tight and draft free condition. Holes and cracks in foundations and exterior walls shall be filled.

This is a lovely requirement, but it is so far from reality, I literally laughed out loud. My back door currently has two layers of duct tape, a sheet of window insulation, and another thing of duct tape to keep that on (because it gets too cold for the regular clear adhesive strips to hold). My landlord isn’t alone in this kind of oversight: a Spring St home I looked at was far worse in this regard.

Number of [parking] spaces. Each rental dwelling unit shall have a minimum of 2 off-street parking spaces, and as many additional off-street spaces as may be desired so long as they meet the dimensional, surface, location, and other requirements of this section.

This is unnecessary, particularly since a large section of our rental market is college students, who may be able to store their cars on campus, or — like me — may not own one at all. I’d far prefer to see our abundance of wide streets used for parking, year-round, than have landlords pave over back yards to comply with this. In any case, at the risk of sounding Republican, this seems like something the free market can regulate: if you need off-street parking, get a rental place with off-street parking. If you don’t, then your options are open.

Sec. 14-125. Occupancy. No rental unit shall be occupied by more than the number of persons for which the unit is approved, based on International Residential Code (IRC) or International Building Code (IBC) requirements, which number shall be designated in conjunction with the issuance of the rental license. In addition to that limitation, rental properties in an R-1 or R-2 district may not be occupied by more than 3 adult persons who are unrelated by blood, marriage, or adoption, provided that a property owner may apply for a special permit to allow 4 or 5 unrelated adult persons to occupy a rental unit […].

Potentially problematic for domestic partners (samboer) and gay couples. But, the City is indeed exploring the idea of a Domestic Partner Registry this year.

Sec. 14-126. Conduct on licensed premises.

This whole section contains impacts on rental properties by violations of a list of 15 local and state laws (including “Minnesota Statutes §§ 609.185, 609.19, 609.195, 609.20, and 609.205, which prohibit murder and manslaughter,” just in case you were planning on doing that on your rental property). This is another instance of double-standards for rentals: these things are already illegal, and already have penalties associated with them. It’s problematic on its face, but there’s also an impact that may not have been considered: to safeguard against losing their rental licenses, landlords put illegal requirements in their lease to discourage disorderly behavior.

The first draft of my current lease (which my landlord told me was his “standard lease”) contained provisions requiring fees to the landlord and possible eviction for any police call to the residence. (Of course, these are unenforceable — but that won’t keep a sucker from paying a fee because s/he think s/he has to. Or, heck, keep a domestic abuse victim from calling the police because she doesn’t want to get evicted.)

The rest is fairly unexceptional. And I should note, none of the councilors who approved this ordinance is currently on the City Council. This is a deeply and dangerously flawed ordinance, and I hope for its prompt rewrite.

February 13, 2012   1 note   

A letter to Walgreens

I was recently in your Walgreens store in Northfield and noticed the lovely display you had for “Walk with Walgreens.” This campaign seems to encourage healthy walking as a part of daily life. Among other things, your brochure suggests “walk[ing] when you run an errand.”

I think it is great that Walgreens is encouraging walking. However, I think you have an obligation to put your money where your mouth is. Despite its young age and excellent downtown location, the Northfield Walgreens does not have access from the main pedestrian routes along W 5th St and Highway 3 S. This is very apparent during the winter, as the logical route (which is grass underneath) is clearly trodden. Even during the summer, you can see the dead grass in the path of the pedestrian “desire line” — from the intersection of W 5th St and Highway 3.

This image depicts the situation:


On the upper half of the image, you can see the path of the many pedestrians who trudge through the snow and dirt across your lawn to access the store. On the lower image, you can see the green line (which is where the grass/snow is walked on) and the red line — the official, designated, paved pedestrian route.

I am glad that you are dedicated to healthy people and enabling walking. So I ask that you provide direct, paved access from the Highway 3/5th St intersection to the front door this year. Both streets are owned by the Minn. Dept of Transportation; I imagine they will be quite willing to permit you to build this, as it has no impact on automotive traffic. Providing dignified, reasonable access to pedestrians is critical if you want them to walk as a part of daily life. A convenience store/pharmacy like yours is an ideal walking destination, since people mainly make small, easy-to-carry purchases.

Thank you, and I appreciate your evaluating this suggestion.