A one-sided fight over St. Paul's streets

Under pressure from the City Council last week, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman outlined a $54 million street-improvement program—more than 10 percent of his proposed $515 million operating budget for 2015. Hizzoner thus significantly raised a group of rebellious council members' bid of $22 million for streets after they likened his earlier plan to "putting a Band-Aid on a broken hip."

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Consider the humble — but ever nimble — bus!

On the Monday after the blast-off of the Green Line I stopped at a bus shelter for a quick transfer, rejoicing that I was making my way across town – by bus – in record time. As I waited on that sun-drenched morning an elderly gentleman stopped by the shelter to check the new bus route routes and schedules. After a quick perusal of his expanded transit options he declared, “I’m just going to ride ALL of those new routes, just to see where they really do go!”

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Green Line, green lights

Suppose you have a train moving along (parallel to) an East-West (EW) signalized arterial.

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Squaring a triangle: Rethinking Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha in Seward

For decades, the Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha area of northwest Seward has been a thorny area, confusing for cars, unsafe for pedestrians, and generally lacking in the urban amenities residents of most Minneapolis neighborhoods desire. Though the area has had an LRT station on the blue line for 10 years now, little has changed where the three streets come together, with only one redevelopment (Seward Common) just now being built. A long-term vision from the Seward neighborhood aims to address this, but largely leaves the the root transportation problems of the Franklin/Cedar/Minnehaha area intact.

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Pick up an orange flag and cross a street!

Pick up an orange flag and cross a street. That’s how revolutions get started. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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"I'm not opposed to development"

Last Wednesday I found myself in a nearly empty meeting room, observing the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA) at work. This has been an all-too-frequent circumstance for me in recent months, as I work the Wedge-beat for a fake news organization called @WedgeLIVE. I was there to watch the proposed development known as Frank-Lyn inch its way closer to the finish line. Supporters of the development achieved a sort of moral victory in hostile territory, falling just one vote short (4-3) in a bid for LHENA’s largely symbolic approval (on its way to meeting the approval of the City Planning Commission late Monday, as I write this).

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Did you know? Transit challenges affect St. Paul's East Side

The Green Line may be up and running, but that is only the beginning of new transit development in the eastern metro. Did you know that there are three potential transit projects that could have a direct impact on the future of Dayton’s Bluff?

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Sympathy for the Devil?

It may seem strange to work up much sympathy for a booming industry that killed 47 people while virtually leveling their Quebec town last year and later touched off a giant fireball over Casselton, N.D., on the Minnesota border, but that's what I'm feeling these days for the railroads.

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Recalculating a life

Like Dorothy who was whisked away from drab Kansas to exotic Oz, I daily confront the complications of living in a new and strange land. I keep learning that things I thought were a normal part of the world were actually regional characteristics. For example, Midwest roads and streets are laid out in an orderly grid, crossing each other at 90-degree angles in predictable intervals. As a Flatlander, I took that grid structure for granted. I was amused but also reassured by Minneapolis’s alphabetical street names (Colfax, Dupont, Emerson, Fremont, Girard, Holmes).

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A DMV grows in Saint Paul (inside the Sears department store!)

Saint Paul is a weird city. One of its many quirks, which may go largely undetected, is that it has a DMV located deep in the recesses of a Sears Department Store.

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