Reading the Highland Villager #224

[A cat helping to wrap presents in a Villager.]
[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: Council OKs budget with 6.5% boost in spending
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council approved the mayor's budget with some limits to what he initially wanted. Funding for police was one of the big sticking points in what the Villager calls "the most contentious city budget processes in recent memory." The Mayor wanted more spending, the Council less. Bike and pedestrian improvements are in the budget. [Phew! These are good investments but without consistent support from the community might be prone to being cut. City budgeting is some serious triage.] 

Headline: HDC board backs Ryan Co.'s changes to Ford plan 
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A neighborhood group voted 11-7 to support suggestions from the developer of the old Ford factory that would shift zoning, parking, and street plans. "We're not trying to be Centennial Lakes," said one board member who was upset about the changes. Article details the proposed changes. Developer quoted saying: "[without changes] will not proceed with the project".

Headline: County Board adopts 2019 budget
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The County has a budget too. Comm. Rettman voted "no" [... for the last time. Bye!].  Included is $11M for the replacement of the Dale Street bridge over I-94.

Headline: Council OKs design for bike, walking trails on old rail spur
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council approved a plan to use the rail line that used to serve the Ford factory for recreational purposes. [The project is still unfunded and years away.]

Headline: St. Paul bans pet shop sales of cats and dogs to combat bad breeders
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: You can't buy cats and dogs any more because of puppy mills. [What about Twin City Reptiles? Won't someone think of the reptiles?]

Headline: Riverview transit gets another hearing
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Met Council is having a public hearing about a proposed streetcar/LRT project down West 7th.

Headline: Marshall rezoning leads to doubling of students next door; BZA OKs conversion of a student rental home into a duplex
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Marshall Avenue was rezoned recently. [Most of it was downzoned, actually.] A home is being converted into a duplex. Neighbors are concerned about traffic, parking, and noise. [This seems like another unforeseen consequence of the student housing ordinance, which was a bad idea IMO.] Quote from the piece: "Landlords have referred to the [student housing] certificates as 'the golden ticket'." Quote from the developer: "we're not embarrassed to say we're in this to make money." [One reason the student housing ordinance was a bad idea is that it did not make housing disappear; in fact, it did the opposite, increasing demand. That incentivizes all sorts of things, like this sort of tear-down.]  

Headline: Traffic plan still evolving around new Allianz Field
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There is a new soccer stadium being built and nobody yet knows how traffic is going to work around it. [I call the plan they floated, "woah, magic bus!"] There is a one-way street, but nobody knows why it is that way.  One person speculated it was because of 94 freeway construction in 1967. [!] Some other streets might be changed, or at least the signs might be. Neighbors are concerned about pedestrians safely crossing Snelling. [As they should be.] 

Headline: Pedestrian safety measures sought near Keg & Case Market
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Look another story about how it's terrifying and dangerous to cross the street. It's a new theme for the Villager, and I like it!] There is a popular new [bougie] food market in the old Schmidt Brewery and people are trying to cross the street to get to it. Neighbors are concerned about safety and want pedestrian crossing island installed so that folks do not have to try and cross West 7th in a super dangerous manner. [This should be stuff we do all along West 7th. Why have a 3-lane design if we are not going to install refuge islands?] Article includes some history of people being killed by cars on this street. There will be new temporary bollards in some places, and the older ones will stick around.

Headline: Cretin Avenue safety improvements recommended by UPDC
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Another one!] Cretin Avenue is super dangerous [and has been for decades] and it's almost impossible to cross the street with all the speeding cars. Neighbors would like to figure out how to fix this, and might ask for widening the sidewalk, having new signs , or creating a better pedestrian median by the freeway. [None of this solves the problem, which is the 4-lane design.] The City Council would like MnDOT to lower the speed limit to 30. [Why can't the city do this itself? Minnesota is dumb.] Quote from article: cars come off the freeway ramps at 5-0mph or more and maintain that speed on Cretin... crossing Cretin on foot can be challenging, especially north of Marshall [where] sidewalks are narrow or nonexistent." [The only solution here is to get rid of a lane. Rush hour traffic will be worse but safety will be better, 20 hours a day. You design streets for the speeds and safety you want, not the traffic you think you will get. There is no other workable solution other than banning people on foot.]


Liz said...

Time to push for that Pedestrian Scramble at Snelling and University. Should have had it for years.

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