Reading the Highland Villager #11 (February 10 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: 7
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 6

Title: Commissioners reject revised site plan for new Walgreens store
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Yet another story on the endless Walgreen's/Snyder's Ford Parkway affair. Planning Commission unapproved a previous approval of a “site plan” for a new drug store on the corner of Ford Pkwy and Finn St. Article points out how many new members of the commission there are now, and the new members cited the problem that the plan “follows the pattern of auto-oriented land uses, does not bring a mixed-use development to Highland”.

Also, a few commission members argued that the corner has too many vacant storefronts already. The corner entrance is also apparently not really at the corner [a la the atrocious CVS pharmacy at Snelling and University. -ed.].

Title: Decision made on Coldwater Spring Site: Demolition of federal bldgs, restoration of property planned
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: Eleven “dilapidated” buildings down by the river near Ft Snelling will be demolished, says the Federal Govt.

Title: Light rail chugs on without the benefit of federal funds. State and local officials risk $42M on project that is still awaiting FTA approval.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Alarmist story about] LRT [shenanigans, apparently w/ the hook that the] project is still not approved. [This is par for the course on projets like this? –Ed.]

Title: St Paul won’t collect streetscape assessments until corridor completed
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: St Paul City Council voted to not collect the $2.9M in streetscape assessments from Univ. Ave. property owners until after the LRT line is running in 2014 [knock on wood -Ed.]. Move probably does a lot to assuage nail-biting business owners.

Title: Mixed-use building in Summit hill converted to residential
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Buidlng at 1041 osceola Avenue that has had both storefronts and apartments from 1921 until 1999 will now be a residential only buidling, according to a vote by the St Paul Planning Commission (sought by the owners). The list of businesses that had been in the building included a grocery store, an ice cream shop, a massage center, and a beauty salon.

Title: Village famer's market OK'd by city Planning Commission
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: St Paul Planning Commission is going to allow a farmer's market in Highland Park this summer. It will be behind the Starbucks every Saturday morning (2078 Ford Parkway).

Title: St Paul considers dropping bid for #1M Jefferson Ave. bike blvd. Residents on the east end of Jefferson want it, those on west end aren't so sure
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article detailing how the $750,000 in Federal pilot program money to build a "bike boulevard" [a street designed explicitly for safe biking, which would still allow cars, in the interest of encouraging people who don't bicycle regularly, such as children and older people, to do so. This works because Bike boulevards are far safer than bike lanes. -Ed.] in Saint Paul may get scuttled because of a lack of political ability to change transportation dynamics in the Capitol City. [Once again, this illustrates how Saint Paul can't do anything even remotely revolutionary. Minneapolis is going ahead with bike boulevards, only with far less money devoted to the projects. -Ed.] The sticking point is the citizens on the West End of the street, where neither the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood group, nor City Coucilmember Pat Harris, is supporting the project.

Update: According to my research, this issue has since been laid over twice by the City Council, and will next be on the agenda on March 10th.