Reading the Highland Villager #206

[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. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free. See also: Three Reasons Why I Re-Blog the Highland Villager.]

Headline: Rondo reconnected: Summit-University pursues the dream of bridging two sides of old neighborhood
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: There is a plan and group to consider having a land bridge over I-94 between Rice and Lexington, roughly. Article has some background of the project, including the groups that are leading the effort to raise money for the project. Good quotes by Mr. Marvin Anderson, who helped start Rondo Days many years ago. Description of the recent ULI panel report that offered steps for feasibility for the land bridge project.

Headline: Merriam Park debates need for historic protections: City Council to consider nine-month moratorium on development April 11

Short short version: There was a neighborhood meeting to decide whether to stop any development of a number of old houses in an old neighborhood. People that own an old home want to tear it down and built duplexes. Neighbors are concerned about the loss of ofd buildings and "developers". [The house belongs to one of Joe Mauer's grandparents, so this is the ultimate Saint Paul story. Expect old cranks from dive bars to appear out of nowhere to complain about Mauer for no reason.] There are 46 homes that might be protected, depending on the results of the study and the decisions of the community and City Council. CM Henningson is quoted saying she is "not a preservationist." [Hey, some of my best friends are preservationists.]  There is a petition. Quote from a neighbor: "look at the beauty of the neighborhood." Quote from the owner of the potentially tearing-down old home: "Please don't do this to my aging parents." [Sorry folks, I am officially largely agnostic about teardowns in nice neighborhoods, and tend toward wanting to preserve old homes if possible. For me, though, it always depends on what is being proposed as a replacement. At least this isn't an historic district...]

Headline: Protected bike lanes debated for new Summit Ave. bridge

Short short version: A bridge is being replaced on Summit Avenue.  Some people would like protected bike lanes on Summit. [The lanes there are SUPER wide and a protected bike lane west of this point would be easy and should be a no-brainer. See this compelling case for them.] There will be a meeting. The bridge is in the historic district [I just warned you about these!] and so is regulated by preservationists. Article has some stats about the bridge traffic and dimensions. Article describes the historic preservation concerns thus: "The curbs or bollards that are used to separate bike and motor-vehicle traffic run counter to Summit Avenue's historic design standards." [Praytell! How about we have speed limits reduced to 1890s levels? How about limiting allowed horsepower on Summit to 40, that of a 1915 Ford Model T? I'm OK with preservationists having purview over old homes on Summit Avenue, but when it comes to street design and safety issues, historic aesthetics should absolutely not have weight in how a city makes decisions. I don't see people wanting to return to 1910's medical procedures like lobotomies or leeching or un-anesthetized amputation. We shouldn't be keeping our streets at early 20th century danger levels either.] Quote from a public works' engineer: "we recognize that people want protected bike lanes, and that discussion may need to be a citywide discussion." [Well that's good I suppose. Lately people who like bike safety have been effective in having citywide discussions, as opposed to just giving Summit Avenue residents veto power over any changes.] Quote from bike advocate: "In St. Paul we seem to find reasons not to do protected bike lanes." [Amen.] 

Headline: A new design on Snelling and St. Clair; Developer unveils plan for six-story, 118-unit apartment building at Mac-Groveland corner

Short short version: The abandoned strip mall might become a mixed-use apartment building. There was a previous effort to build a mixed-use building here but it failed for a number of reasons. [I voted against it at the Zoning Committee because of the lack of street level retail.] This is different and has a new developer. Neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking. 

Headline: Even more applicants are wishing on Neighborhood STAR; Local projects among those vying for piece of nearly $2M in funds

Short short version: There is a pot of money for neighborhood improvement projects and different groups are trying to get it. [The pot is small, sort of.] There are a lot of businesses trying to get the money now. Article is basically a big list, which includes a pimento factory, a cheese bar, a brewery, and an "art farm" [???]

Headline: STAR grant sought to help create new 'destination playground' at Expo

Short short version: A group of people want city money to make a nice playground by a school. There was an old playground apparently. Kids want to see a pirate ship and a tree fort. [OK well then.]

Headline: Parking ban for Lexington bikeway plan still unsettled

Short short version: There is a bike lane planned for Lexington Parkway and people cannot decide which of the sides of the street should have the parking removed. Few people use the parking. [Flip a coin?] Neighbors are concerned about speeding cars. Quote from neighbor: "what can we do to make it saver and slow traffic?" [Narrow the lanes? Tighten the curbs?]  85% of drivers travel between 36 and 39 mph on the street. 

Headline: St. Paul on path to create citywide plan that supports safe walking

Short short version: The city is making a plan. Cars are very dangerous and people who walk around are scared of them for good reason. There are lots of parts of the city without sidewalks. 

Headline: Research shows annual Stop for Me campaign has more work to do

Short short version: A researcher at the U of MN has been systematically testing how bad St. Paul drivers really are at stopping for people to cross the street. The results are in. They are very bad. Stay tuned for more on this. [I am planning a podcast about this.] Article has stats on how people continue to get hurt and/or die while trying to cross the street.

Headline: Woodland, Jefferson, Mt. Curve repaving planned for 2018-10;City project is one of first largely financed with dedicated bonds

Short short version: Some streets will be repaved this year. It costs a lot.

Headline: Changes proposed to residential permit parking around St. Thomas

Short short version: Some "residential permit" areas might be consolidated. [That'll change everything.]


Unknown said...

"Kids want to see a pirate ship and a tree fort."

Of course they do.

Fauzi Noer said...

Thank you very much, may the health always be with all of us

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