13.11.14

Reading the Highland Villager #118

[A Villager blows in the wind.]
[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: Highland to unveil new library, updated rec center on Nov. 16
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The library is nicer now. [It's OK, they only paved half a softball field for parking.] The architects tried to "connect the building with Ford Parkway."


Headline: Next year's road work may bring a more walkable Snelling Avenue;' District councils push for wider sidewalks, boulevards and lantern lighting
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Horribly unwalkable and deadly] Snelling Avenue might have nicer sidewalks. [Might not.] Article includes blithe statement "Motor vehicles heading to and from the I-94 entrance and exit ramps travel pretty fast generally." The top priority is wider sidewalks near the 94 bridge.


Headline: Proposed river corridor rules are attacked from both sides
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The DNR is trying to craft new rules on development for the Mississippi river area. Everyone is worried that they will be too strong or not strong enough. One issue is the number of non-conforming lots that regulations would create.


Headline: Frost owner appeals parking decision for new Salt Cellar
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An restaurant that wants to move into a new building might or might not have to build one extra parking space, or might just install a bike rack.


Headline: Public gets glimpse at plans to renovate Palace Rec Center
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: And old theater downtown is going to be fixed up with city money.


Headline: UPDC delays action on license for Midway Target liquor store
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: They might sell booze at Target, depending on how far away the distance of the store is from Big-Top Liquors. [Market Pantry® discount vodka.]


Headline: Hearings on proposed St. Paul fee hikes draw sparse turnout [Much to the Villager's dismay, no doubt. There went their front page.]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city has fees for street and sidewalk improvements, among other things. Nobody really seems to care.


Headline: City to maintain pedestrian sign near Macalester College
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A sign that flashes by a bus intersection with lots of college students crossing the street was installed by MNDOT, but the city will pay to keep it working.


Headline: St. Paul seeks applications for 2016-2017 CIB projects
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [CIB stands for "Capitol Improvement Budget."] They're due January 16th. [Typically, you have to spend a lot of time building support in neighborhoods and with the committee.]


Headline: City Council sets hearing on plan to improve snowplowing
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: When it snows, it's hard to drive and Saint Paul spends a lot of time and money pushing the snow out of the way for cars with big trucks.


Headline: St. Paul to leave snow piles on corners for citizens to clean up
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: When they push the snow out of the way for cars, they push it into piles by the side of the street that make it harder to park. Also it goes onto the sidewalk so you can't walk any more sometimes.


Headline: Plans for the 2015 reconstruction of Randolph, Ford Pkwy. fine-tuned
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The county is reconstruction Randolph and Ford Parkway. Sidewalks will be replaced. Ford Parkway will get bike lanes. [Unresolved question: will they try to widen Randolph where it meets Lexington?]


Headline: New use sought for Grand-Cleveland lot; But UST seeks extended permit for parking on site
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A parking lot by Grand and Cleveland might become mixed-use student housing,  a "green space," or remain a parking lot. There are a lot of details. [MOAR parking vs. STUDENTSAREHORRIBLE vs. the included quote from the UST person saying "we don't think the [green space] makes sense". Place your bets... PS I admit to not understanding this one. Isn't a building the right thing to do for all parties?]


Headline: Pleasant Ridge moves ahead with plea to replace trees, parking
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A development in Summit Hill is trying to re-add lost parking spaces because neighbors asked for the parking spaces back. Also trees.


Headline: City Council blocks plan for self-storage at Schmidt site [really buried this story for some reason]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council voted not to allow a non-conforming use permit for a self-storage facility next to the new Schmidt Brewery apartment complex. [I wrote about this issue here.]


Headline: City committee favors keeping current Sibley Plaza zoning [buried this one too!]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commissions' Zoning Committee voted to allow a strip mall not to be re-zoned into traditional neighborhood mixed-use because they want to build mixed-use but also keep all the surface parking lots abutting the street. [See previous three Villagers for more.] Article includes quote from one commissioner who didn't wanted to re-zone it: "It feels like a suburban strip mall to me." [That's exactly what it is.]

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