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8 months ago

GreeningFrogtownJulyAug17

JULY/AUGUST 2017 Inside… The Payday Lending Trap Exodus Lending offers escape — P. 2 Frogtowners Are New Link to City Cops Howard, Lammers in outreach, prevention roles — P. 3 ON CHARLES AVE., DIRT FLIES IN REJUVENATION EFFORT — P. 3 A Neighbors' Deal with Drivers Who says the car has to come first? If you love going to public meetings and pondering transportation issues, the past month was great for you. There’s a sudden pile-up of local road, bridge and freeway projects under consideration. Everybody wants your opinion about everything. For example, you could have weighed in on the Dale Street bridge over I-94. The idea at the moment is to widen it considerably with bike lanes, broad sidewalks, and longer turn lanes, while adding amenities in the stretch north to University. That might include a wheelchairfriendly ramp on the east side, plus trees and benches. (Ramseycounty.us/residents/roadstransit/future-projects for details.) Then there’s the question of putting a lid over the freeway to reconnect the Frogtown/Rondo neighborhoods with Summit-U. The lid could resemble a broad park or garden, with gardens and pathways that might turn a freeway crossing into a pleasure rather than an ordeal. As unlikely as that sounds, it’s been done in other cities — among them Duluth, where a park forms a lid over I-35. (Details: reconnectrondo.org.) Then there’s the matter of I-94 itself. The aged freeway, built in the 1 960s, is due for a major reconsideration and redo. As displaced Rondo residents will tell you, the freeway build-out didn’t go so well the first time around. The effort to make it better this time will demand an ability to not only meet the needs of the present, but take a guess at what the next 50 years will bring. Our ideas about getting around in 201 7 will unquestionably seem quaint in 2067. (Details: dot.state.mn.us/I-94minneapolis-stpaul) Welcome to the neighborhood. If the past 50 years of so of transportation planning have taught us anything, it's that the needs of commuters are not necessarily the needs of neighbors. Drivers want to get where they're going as fast as possible. Residents don’t want their neighborhood chopped up by roads that are unsafe to cross by anyone incapable of a sprint. They don’t want the sense that they are stranded on either side of an eightlane traffic trench. Yet that’s the world we’ve made. Here’s an idea that's simple but apparently radical given the way that Rondo and Frogtown have been hacked up to serve commuters' interests. This time around, balance the desires of residents and drivers. Remake Dale so that a sensible person might want to stroll along it. Slow traffic so a child might reasonably hope to cross Dale and survive. Remake I-94 with an awareness that human beings live along it, and deserve something better than an eyesore that brings with it the roar and stench of traffic. If as a result commuters are forced to slow down, wait, or consider mass transit, think of it as a compromise. We're here 24/7. Commuters pass through twice a day. The car has been king for the past 50 years. This is the moment to ask whether the next 50 years have to be the same. — Tony Schmitz Gun Violence: Tough Road to Solutions More questions than answers at a local forum — P. 4 The Food Comes to You Mobile Market, Second Harvest add food options — P. 9 Under New Management Change comes to the Nickel Joint — P. 6

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