26.3.15

Reading the Highland Villager #127

[Springtime is Villagers unearthed.]
[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: Ideas tossed around for open space at Ford site
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old truck factory is going to become something else, some of which will be "open space." There was a meeting. People would like access to the nearby Hidden Falls park [Note: I've never successfully found the falls], wildlife habitat, gardens, playgrounds, and a "market space." People may or may not want a dog park. [Probably depends on whether one has a dog.] Bike and pedestrian trails seem to be popular, including a "greenway." Article includes discussion of historic ballfields on the site and the city's "parkland dedication fund." Open space may or may not be near Ford Parkway, which may or may not be too busy.


Headline: Blueprint for design of new single-family homes aired
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: City staff have come up with new "parameters" for designs of homes, like size, height, and materials, for the areas which have seen a lot of teardowns. "They aim to prevent monotony." [Lots of things have that aim, including this blog.] Article goes over background of the teardown issue, and has details about recommendations for sizes of home additions etc., e.g. "additions greater than 120 square feet [must have] windows and doors that account for at least 1- percent of the area of any exterior wall." [Sounds specific!] City staff would like to have any regulation extend city-wide. [That would be very difficult, I believe. Other parts of the city are not in similar boats, economy-wise.]


Headline: Bike plan rounds corner to final approval
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The bike plan will go before the city council. [It did, and it passed.]


Headline: Study hopes to improve on 40 years of free-market trash collection in city; New system sought to reduce cots and wear and tear on the streets
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Saint Paul has never had organized trash collection, but the Mac-Grove neighborhood got a grant to think about it. Some of the ideas are to "assign" haulers to different parts of the city. There are legal procedures for how to organize trash collection in state law. Minneapolis has organized trash collection. Many other cities have organized trash collection. [For a long time I was thinking about doing a rough anlysis of how much money the city loses in extra street maintenance costs by having 3-5X the number of heavy garbage trucks driving down its streets. The answer is that it's a hell of a lot!] There was a study in 2013 that said that nobody likes having lots of trucks driving up and down their street all week.


Headline: BZA supports plans for Woodlawn teardown
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A couple can tear down a home they bought and replace it. Neighbors are upset.


Headline: Ward 1 DFL falls short of endorsing City Council candidate
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Dai Thao did not get the endorsement. [Not sure why. He seems pretty good to me.]


Headline: 'Making Strides' Report outlines steps for a more accessible Green Line
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: People are beginning to notice how crappy the sidewalks around University Avenue really are, especially for disabled people or old people [or anyone on foot, really].


Headline: Lex-Randolph property purchase opposed
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: City and county plans [but mostly county plans] to widen a street by tearing down existing homes [and taking away some of their yards] in order to add turn lanes are not very popular. The local neighborhood group voted to oppose. They'd also like to move the Metro Transit stop farther from the corner. Article includes LOS grades ("between C and F") [for some reason]. "Adding a northbound lane is expected to bring the grade up to a D [from an E]." [$1.5M and the loss of valuable property for an extremely marginal change?] Randolph Avenue is being reconstructed anyway.


Headline: Debate continues over Merriam Park cell tower agreement
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: People are still arguing about whether the city owes the neighborhood money about a cell phone tower that was built years ago.


Headline: Residents appeal BZA decision to allow student rental on Grand
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: People who own a house on Grand Avenue would like to register it as a student rental but are having trouble with it because they forgot to register it when it was required after the student housing ordinance was passed two years ago. The neighborhood group is supporting the owners. Some people are upset.


Headline: Goodwill moves into new flagship store on University
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There's another Goodwill on University now. [It's got a big surface parking lot right along the sidewalk, too.]

1 comment:

Alex said...

I thought Hidden Falls was right off the Parkway. You know where the parkway does that big horseshoe bend south of the Ford Plant and there's a fence on the river side? If you go around the fence the falls are pretty much right there. Unless those are Decoy Falls and Hidden Falls are actually somewhere else.