Reading the Highland Villager #14-15 (April 14- May 11 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: 12
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 12

Title: Commission airs requests for towering cell phone poles; Debate moves to Edgcumbe as request for 100-foot pole is withdrawn Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A wireless company wants to put up 100 foot poles in parks in the Groveland and Dayton's Bluff neighborhoods. People don't like it. The planning commission prefers if companies lease things like water towers, rather than putting up new poles. [Update: The commission approved one pole at Griggs St. and one pole at Larpenteur. See meeting notes.]

Title: St Thomas adds more parking to student center plans
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Neighborhood concern over the need for lots of street parking means that St Thomas University is building a larger underground ramp (118 spaces) at their new student center on Summit Avenue.

Title: Design of new student center passes muster with HPC; commission also OKs St Thomas pedestrian plan for Cretin-Summit
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Heritage Preservation Commission is forcing St Thomas to add "window details, landscaping, and the detailing for three large service bay doors" to the aforementioned student center. The University will also add a "20-foot pedestrian pad" to the Summit Ave median to improve pedestrian safety. The local advisory council wants more street lighting.

Title: Thune says he has votes to move Jefferson bike boulevard forward; But fellow council member harris still has reservations about $1 million project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The long-debated Bike Boulevard project may get the go ahead, as the votes to move it past the objections of Highland Park Council member Pat Harris may be there. The vote will take place on May 5th [This Wednesday! -ed.] after a public hearing a 4:30 in the council chamber. The money mostly comes from a federal grant. Harris has been pushing not to remove the stoplights and stop signs at a few intersections. Harris also doesn't like the "traffic diverters", which make a 'safe haven' for pedestrians at intersections.

Title: Commission favors Shamrocks' request to rezone Juno Ave. lot
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Shamrocks bar on W 7th street wants to create more off-street parking, and the Planning Commission gave the go-ahead to a new surface lot at W7th and Juno Ave.

Title: Plan seeks improved walking, bicycling in Central Corridor
Author: Jane McClure
Short short version: A plan to improve bike and ped pathways along University Ave got the go-ahead from the City Council. [See more of the plan here.]

Title: New vision emerges for Grand-Cleveland; neighbors balk at height of building proposed for site of vacant gas station
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There used to be a gas station at Grand and Cleveland, but now a developer wanyts to build a 6 story mixed-use apartment/retail building. The local community council land use committee doesn't like this at all. They want something about 4 story's tall. The article includes a [predictable] quote from a neighbor concerned about parking.

Title: Businesses learn what light-rail construction might be like; Central Corridor planners say they will do the utmost to lessen the impact on University Ave commerce
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a meeting where planners talked to business owners about the [very unpopular] upcoming construction disruptions. During the first year, the street will be torn up, and one traffic lane and most sidewalks will remain open in each direction. During the second year, the transit stations and tracks will be completed, and because this will take place in the middle of the street, most traffic should not be "impacted".

Title: City sued over PPL's plans for Highland apartment building; neighbors seek to overturn variances approved for the affordable housing project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: "Neighbors" are suing the city because they granted variances for a 48-unit affordable housing apartment on W 7th street. [Where the old video store is, west of the Nut Roll factory. -ed.] the complaint calls the approval "irrational, arbitrary, capricious"... etc. [Down with poor people! -ed.]

Title: BZA grants parking variance for new Cheeky Monkey patio
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The board of zoning appeals gave a variance for the new sandwich shop on Selby Avenue. Instead of building 29 parking spaces, they only have to build 23. [Parking requirements are really stupid. See below. -ed.]

Title: Testing for lead contamination keeps Oxford ball fields closed
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Ballfields next to the park at Lexington and Marshall is being tested for lead. The city has done some testing, and results are 10X higher than the "acceptable level". This may involve a costly cleanup. Nobody knows now the soil got contaminated. [Yikes! -ed.]

Title: City Council considers easing off-street parking requirements
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There is a public hearing on May 5th [THIS WEEK!] to discuss lessening the current off-street parking requirements. The current ones have been in place since 1992. The current req's are "based on a subruban model" according to a city planner. The changes will also require larger developments to conduct their own "travel demand management studies". [Long overdue, this. -ed.]

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