2014-06-24

Reading the Highland Villager #108

[A Villager endures the harsh summer sun.]
[Basically the problem is that the best source of Saint Paul streets & sidewalks news is the Highland Villager, a very fine and historical newspaper. This wouldn't be a problem, except that its not available online. You basically have to live in or frequent Saint Paul to read it. That's why I'm reading the Highland Villager. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free.]


Headline: Grazing atop a hill much visited [Note the oddly poetic headline]; Goats will join horses to curb invasive plants on Pilot Knob
Author: James McKenzie

Short short version: Horses and goats will eat weeds on an sacred Indian site [since turned into an airport overlook and marginal freeway-side space, but still oddly beautiful. Oh, its Dakota name is Oheyawashi, which means "A hill much visited"... That explains the oddly poetic headline...].


Headline: Bonding bill pumps $75M into projects across St. Paul
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: The state legislature is spending money on things in Saint Paul that include a new building at Metro State University, an expansion of the Children's Museum, remodeling the TPT HQ to better meet the sidewalk [well that's a good idea!], parking lots and street re-design for Como Park [PRO TIP: bikes], rehabbing an old theater downtown, money for the Ordway, and the Snelling aBRT transit line [probably the most important thing on this list]. There are other things too. Article includes glowing quotes from happy lobbying-type people.  


Headline: City reduces off-street parking required in transit corridors
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [NOTE: article begins with flabbergasted tone: "despite the opposition of the West 7th/Fort Road Federation, the West 7th Business Association, and Dave Thune..."] Saint Paul eased parking minimums along transit corners by 25% for multi-family buildings in the TN1 and TN2 zones. Article includes quote from Thune: "the neighborhood just doesn't have any parking to spare." [ANNOUNCING: Special TC Sidewalks shoutout to anyone sending in photos of empty parking lots along West 7th?] Article implies that the rest of the council thinks less required off-street parking is a good idea.


Headline: Neighbors back Dorothy Day expansion; But want incidence of public drunkenness and panhandling reduced
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a meeting about the expansion of the homeless shelter downtown, and neighbors seemed OK with it. Article includes stories about less than ideal encounters with the homeless, such as "camping in the yard", panhandling, and sleeping in the park. The shelter will just about double in size of beds.


Headline: Height variances OK'd for SPA art center
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The fancy private high school can build a tall building. There will also be a larger parking lot!


Headline:  Public comments sought on new Shepard-Davern zoning
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There's a task force looking at the area by West 7th and the river [by the confluence]. Article includes the words "pedestrian friendly", "transit options", "revitalize", "development", and "create a park." The current zoning predates the TN [= "traditional neighborhood", i.e. mixed use] zoning category


Headline: Council approves licenses for Red Cow restaurant on Selby
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new fancy Edina burger joint replacing the old less fancy burger joint on Selby can serve booze.


Headline: BZA favors variance, driveway for garage studio on Portland
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A couple can replace their garage with a larger garage/art studio.


Headline: Hershey set neighborhood liaison bar high at St. Thomas
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: They guy that used to run flak for the Tommies is retiring. [What will become of the chidlren? Wont' someboyd think of the children?]


Headline: Commission seeks comments on proposed St. Paul sign regs
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city might change rules for signs on buildings. For example, picture a sign on a roof.


Headline:  City cancels tobacco license, permit for Summit-U grocery
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A corner store can't sell smokes any more because it groke rules around "loosies", synthetic pot, and EBT cards.


Headline: Mac seeks crossing light after accidents and Snelling-Lincoln
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Two people got run over by a car at a fancy crosswalk designed to keep that from happening. Macalester college wants to a "pedestrian activated crossing signal" [aka a HAWK signal]. They offered to pay for one last year but MNDOT said no [because Snelling is sacred].


Headline: Union Depot gets picnic area on Kellogg
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There are tables by the tracks now. [Go eat there if you can find it.]


Headline: Getting the Green Light; Grand opening set June 14 for long-awaited light-rail link between St. Paul & Minneapolis
Author: [Unclear]

Short short version: Descriptions of all the stations along the line.


Headline:  Major bus changes coming with opening of Green Line; Improved service for routes connecting to light-rail line
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some buses will change as the train opens. People are worried about "traffic signal concerns." For example, folks were asking for a new left-turn lane for Northbound Lexington at Grand Avenue but Public Works said there's not enough traffic.


Headline: Foundation sets $1.5M Green Line Challenge
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Think of ideas to improve the bike and walk connections around the new light rail train and, if it's a good idea, you'll get money and it'll actually happen.


Headline: City Council OKs keg house sale
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Part of the remodeled brewery will be developed into a "festival market."


Headline: Snelling-Selby traffic changes OK'd by Union Park Council
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A neighborhood group is OK with an expanded bumpout on Selby and Snelling and better "stop bars. A right-turn lane will be added at Selby and Saratoga as well, to encourage cars to cut through on that back street. [This seems awkward? We'll see.] Other painting-type traffic calming is planned, as well as a median refuge at on Snelling at Dayton.


Headline: Getten Credit's appeal denied
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old quasi-bank still won't be able to move into an old grocery store.


Headline: Council to rule on Davern sidewalk
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city DPW [department of Public Works] is appealing an HPC [Heritage Preservation Commission] ruling to the city council about a new sidewalk on Davern Street [which currently lacks sidewalks, and is the only through street for that part of Highland Park, so many people walk on the street, most of them children]. The HPC argued that the sidewalk would "detract from the historic appearance of the Davern house." [Because nothing says "historic" like having school children run over by cars?] Other neighbors, who would have to pay for the sidewalk, are upset about it too.The City Council is going to decide the matter. Article includes quote from HPC member: the sidewalk would be "urban" in character and "would detract from the historic farmhouse." [Know what else is urban in character? The city of Saint Paul.]

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