Reading the Highland Villager #109

[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: St. Paul enters light-rail era with Green Line launch; Neither rain nor wind could stop long-awaited opening of transit route
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The LRT is finally open. People gave speeches about it, and then it rained and a lot of people rode on it. Article includes some nice vox pop quotes. Article includes the following [highly misleading] statement: "Stations have real time displays of information on arrival times."

Headline: Green Line is fruition of more than 40 years of discussion
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Short history of LRT planning going back to the 70s. Article quote city planner saying "I can't believe it's finally opening." [Fabio accent: "I can't believe it's not better".]

Headline: Street repairs open mayor-council rift
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on fight between mayor and the city council over a pot of $4.5M in "debt forgiveness" for the RiverCenter and how it should be spent. The council wants to spend it on street repair, and the mayor wants to use it on projects downtown such as the Palace Theater, the Macy's [white elephant gift], and Pedro Park. Article cites CM Lantry complaining about street repair budget as "like putting a Band-Aid on a broken hip." [As long as, when we reconstruct our streets, we also install traffic calming and "complete streets" treatments, spending the money on street maintenance is OK with me.]

Headline: Metro Transit revises plan for new rapid transit bus route
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Metro Transit is building a [the first of its] new "bus rapid transit" lines on Snelling. People are complaining about the bus stops taking away on-street parking, including a family clinic by Highland Parkway. [Lord knows you don't want to have people walking across the street to reach your business.] The other compromise [due to complaints from Macalester College] involves moving the BRT stop to the near side of Grand Avenue. [Lord knows you don't want to have people taking the bus to Breadsmith.]

Headline: 'A' Line is just one of many projects tearing up Snelling next year
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There will be construction on Snelling next year, including installing new "twin lantern-style streetlighting" and "sidewalks with ramps." [That'll fix everything.] There will also be wider sidewalks on the bridge over 94. [Well, at least there's that. Sorely needed, of course.]

Headline: Council approves Car2Go car-sharing service in St. Paul
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Car2go now has a contract to operate in Saint Paul. Two Council members voted against it because of parking concerns. [But they're so small!]

Headline: Macalester withdraws funds for Marshall Avenue median; College says last-minute change was deal-breaker
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Macalester College foundation [whose mission is to improve neighborhoods around the campus] withdrew the $50K they were going to use to help pay for a [pedestrian refuge-type] median on Marshall Avenue because the owner of the liquor store complained about access to its parking lot, and the City Council changed the median to allow for this access. [But what about the drivers who want booze? Won't somebody think of the drivers who want booze?] CM Stark [whose district this is] has a quote about how they're going to build it anyway. [But he can't be very pleased.] An engineering firm studied the proposal and is worried about "increased likelihood of motorists attempting to bypass the shorter median through U-turns or illegal movements around the median." [Sounds likely.]

Headline: Federal funds launch citywide effort to adapt to ravages of warming earth [now there's a headline!]; Fifteen Mac-Groveland residents take part in first of four local forums
Author: Frank Jossi

Short short version: [Our kids are all screwed.] People met to talk about climate change. For example, window air conditioning units are wasteful. [See "hypothesized air condition feedback loops".]

Headline: Getting out of hand; Growth in panhandling, homeless camps putting neighbors on edge
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Poor people keep asking for money. Some of them live in the woods, especially around the West End. [Especially on the quite unpleasant 35E bicycle trail.] The police are concerned, and there was a meeting.

Headline: Excitement builds over reuse of brewery office, rathskeller
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Old buildings at the Schmidt brewery are going to have things in them again. Fixing them up is expensive, though.

1 comment:

Monica Rasmussen said...

I can understand why the health clinic wanted parking spaces. However, I've followed the Macalester BRT station planning closely. I don't really understand why Macalester wanted to keep the few on-street parking spaces for its bookstore at the northeast corner. I've heard that the planners preference would have been to put the station in the spot of those 6(?) spaces due to the amount of space needed and that it would help the BRT be faster. Does anyone know, though, if moving the station just so Macalester doesn't lose on-street car storage affect the BRT speed?