5.6.09

***Sidewalk Weekend!***

Sidewalk Rating: Unimproveable

Srsly folks... too much sidewalk fun these days.

If you haven't resoled any shoes by July, I will be disappointed.


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This list of traffic jokes is great.

My house is on the median strip of a highway. You don’t really notice, except I have to leave the driveway doing 60 MPH.

I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I’m gone.

I replaced the headlights in my car with strobe lights, so it looks like I’m the only one moving.


Steven Wright is one of my all time favorite comedians.





[Wright on Letterman in 1990.]


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After my comment about gentrification earlier this week, I came across this article from a year ago...

“Gentrification” is a process of neighborhood change that historically has included a strong racial component, replacing Black and low-income residents with higher income White residents. Many Black residents of North Minneapolis are expressing concern that just such a process is underway in the neighborhoods they call home.

I think it's worth asking what 'development', 'vitalization', etc. really mean. Are they code-speak for pushing poor people out of cities?

This question is particularly important in light of this lawsuit, involving the entirely too-politically named Preserve and Benefit Historic Rondo Committee. I think the name alone shows that this battle isn't really about the Central Corridor. Rather, they're focused on the past, on the terrible travesty that was the I-94 development, and on a long legacy of disinvestment in African-American neighborhoods. That's the real problem, not the pros and cons of a LRT running along the street.

(Of course, having a lobbying group threaten to sue the LRT people seems to be the only way to get concessions out of the project these days.)

In my opinion, there is so much underused land along University Avenue, that there will be room for all sorts of different livelihoods on that street. Just drive down the road and count the vacant lots, large parking lots, abandoned auto dealers, auto parts stores, empty storefronts...

University Avenue, particularly between Lexington and Rice, is so far from gentrified that its barely worth discussing.


[A group of schoolchildren outside Rondo Library on University and Dale. Frogtown/Rondo, Saint Paul.]



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The sidewalk poetry crazy is sweeping the state!



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I'm a peeved that so little of this Twin Cities Metro "street fashion" takes place on the street...

e.g.


[An example of "street fashion."]



That's a fake house! "Street fashion" should be required to take place on sidewalks!


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However, this "street art" is sufficiently street-centric! (Click the 'Street Art' button at the top right of the page menu.)

e.g.



[Street art takes place on the street.]


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Here's a chart of fuel efficiency gains for US cars and trucks for most of the 20th century:


It doesn't seem very impressive, does it?


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Meanwhile, LED streetlamps do seem like a technological advancement. I'm particularly excited about their directional qualities.
Another issue is that current LEDs generally provide only “directional light” rather than a 360-degree glow, meaning they are better suited to downward facing streetlights and ceiling lights than to many lamp-type settings.


A lot of light pollution is caused by diffusion lights that scatter light in all directions, instead of aiming them downward at the sidewalk where the light belongs.


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This seems like a pretty good list of the top #25 restaurant patios...


... and this U of MN-focused article suggests how important these patios might be to a visitor.


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A sidewalk triptych for you:

1) A hydrant sketch. (Img. fm. Avidor.)


2) What LA smog looked like in 1945. (H/T Matthew Kahn)


3) Peavy Plaza. (Img. fm. TCDailyPhoto.)

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Thank you for calling out the old guard of the Rondo neighborhood for obstructing the Central Corridor: First the University of Minnesota (overruled), then MPR and the churches of all places (negotiated, when should have been told to deal with it), and now the Rondo neighborhood who has the most to gain. I loved some of the comments on the Star Tribune site such as: "So, they're saying that they don't want economic development to come and help their community and make it a nicer place to live??"

The Central Corridor is not the I-94 project, the planning commission has been very community and citizen concerened. While there may be some displacement, I am sure the city and county and if all else the federal government will do its best to keep people who need the help in their homes or at least to see that they are compensated fairly for their properties.

Thanks for the sketch by Avidor, pretty sweet stuff.