Reading the Highland Villager #8 & #9 (November Double Issue Edition)

[Basically, the problem is that the best source of local streets & sidewalks news in Saint Paul is the Highland Villager. This wouldn't be a problem, except that its not available online. I'm reading the Highland Villager so that you don't have to. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free.]

Total # of articles about sidewalks: 11
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 11

Title: Light-rail poses big challenge for small business: Prospects for surviving 40year project appear dim to some
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article documenting all the unrest over the Central Corridor LRT. Focuses particularly on construction and gentrification cocnerns over Central Corridor LRT [rightfully -Ed.] questioning StP Mayor Coleman's cliam that "no one has to lose their businsess and no one has to lose their home". Points to businesses that are leaving Saint Paul for the suburbs, including University Avenue ski store Fin Sisu. [How long until that business was going to move anyway? -Ed.] Also mentions the minority group lawsuits, and the "Funder's Collaborative" attempts to mitigate some of the concerns.

Title: Collaborative aims to ease the transition to light-rail transit
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Piece detailing the efforts by foundations to offset disruption, gentrification, and business interruptions along the Central Corridor line.

Title: Housing gives way to green space at Victoria Park
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: West 7th St site of a "fuel tank farm" was sold to the city of St Paul for $1 to create a new park. Exxon will pay $5 M to clean up the site. The future park replaces an idea to create a housing development at the site that would have covered 65 acres and had 850 units of housing. Exxon didn't want to have houses there [because of the future liability issues that come with having people live on toxic waste -Ed.].

Title: Council rejects Walgreens' plan for village store: Ruling may lead to legal challenge or revised plan
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Villager has been covering this story like a blanket for a long time now, about the effort to build a new pharmacy across the street from a slightly older pharmacy in Highland Park in Saint Paul. The City Council just voted unanimanously to deny the permits for the new Walgreen's. In a very ironic twist, the local movements to fight the new Walgreen's in defense of the slightly older Snyder's store seem to be undermined by the parent company of Snyder's Drugs, which is trying to sell their store to Walgreen's.

Title: Council questions extravagance of brick repaving of Goodrich Avenue
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Goodrich Avenue in Saint Paul near Saint Thomas University used to be paved with brick. When the city repaved it, it re-paved it with new bricks instead of using asphalt. Because this costs twice as much, some people are complaining. Article has funny reference to the great brick-paved debaucle of Osceola Avenue, where the re-paving with limestone bricks is "bumpy". [But bricks look very nice! -Ed.]

Title: Lower speed limit sought on Marshall
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: For many years, the city has been lobbying the County to lower the speed limit on Marshall from 35 to 30 mph. For years, the county has said "no." Apparently, at long last, because they've installed bike lanes on the street, the county is going to lower the limit.

Title: New St Paul building design regs advance
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Really interesting article on new building regulations being studied by the Planning Commission. Lots of things like how houses should be set relative to the sidewalk, whether or not thye have windows, what kinds of materials can be used, how much the doorway is emphasized, etc. Story mentions that the whole situation was motivated by a manufactured house built in the North End that was placed sideways to the street so that there were no windows facing the sidewalk.

Title: City Council lays over decision on dynamic business signs: More protections are sought for residential neighborhoods
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: City Council is trying to regulate signs that have flashing lights and LED messages. The group Scenic St. Paul is behind these efforts.

Title: Highland finding drugstore resolution hard to swallow
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The battle over the drug store continues, turning into a struggle between the Highland District Cncil and busienss association, the Planning Commission, and the City Council and unions. Key battle refers to a city ordinance that "call[s] for pedestrian-oriented development" in Highland Park, conflicting with the proposed auto-oriented drug store building and parking lot.

Title: Safety concerns derail effort to allow bikes on Ayd Mill Rd.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: City Council member Russ Stark wanted to allow bikes on Ayd Mil road. Despite a successful public hearing on the proposal, the effort was nixed by the Dept. of Public Works and some other un-named city council members.

Title: Redesign aims to remove traffic hazards at West 7th-Montreal
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city Dept. of Public Works is re-designing the very awkward intersection of West 7th Street, Lexington Avenue, and Montreal Avenue by removing street parking and adding a turn lane. The local neighborhood council, the West 7th Federation, doens't like the plan because it just increases traffic flow in the area. It has a good quote of the director, who would like to move a lot of the traffic off the local streets and onto Shepard Road, the urban freeway along the riverfront. The article cites a traffic study that never took place that would have studied the area. West 7th Street has become an extension of the freeway for people who "seek a quicker route" between I-35E and Highway 5 to the airport and I-494. Volumes are at least 30,000 cars / day.

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