How to fund a trail connecting downtown to the west side via the Hwy 3 underpass

The City of Northfield has applied for $1 million of federal money (Tiger Grant) to construct a pedestrian trail that would connect downtown to the west side.  The proposed route would connect to Greenvale Ave. and St. Olaf Ave via the Hwy. 3 underpass at North Water St. The City must contribute $500K to the project.

At last night’s City Council meeting, Councilors evidently decided that half the cost of trail would come from the downtown fund, according to the Northfield News, with the It’s not clear from the article where the other half would come from. “remainder coming from city reserves.” It’s also not clear what this would do to the prioritized list of other projects that the downtown Streetscape Task Force has identified for funding with money from that downtown fund, especially parking. See NDDC Executive Director Ross Currier’s Oct. 5 blog post: TIF District #4, The Streetscape Task Force, and Downtown Parking.

There is currently enough revenue projected for the TIF District to pay for the Task Force’s long-standing recommendations as well as the City Council’s recent additions. Downtown stakeholders hope that the long-needed parking project will continue to move forward and that this economically critical investment in downtown will be implemented before the TIF District expires.

See pages 68-72 of the Council packet (PDF).  It contains a map of the route but streets aren’t marked. Here’s my live Google Map with the approximate route:


View Greenvale/St. Olaf/Hwy 3 underpass & walkway in a larger map

There’s a new parking space for compact cars on Division, but it’s big enough for Wayne Eddy’s convertible

compact car parking spot on Division at 3rd compact car parking spot on Division at 3rd Wayne Eddy's 1975 Delta 88 Olds Convertible
The City has created a new parking space on the east side of Division St. at 3rd, marked now with a sign that says "COMPACT CARS ONLY." Nice.

However, the length of the parking space appears to be the same as all the other parking spots on that side of Division. 

As a result, I’m guessing that owners of larger vehicles (SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) will park there.  I have my camera ready to capture the moment when Wayne Eddy parks his 1975 Delta 88 Olds Convertible there.

Tourism maps of downtown: do we need more?

Wayfinding sign, downtown Lanesboro Tourism map, downtown Lanesboro Tourism map, downtown Lanesboro

Tourism map, downtown Lanesboro Tourism map, downtown Lanesboro Tourism map, downtown Lanesboro 
Lanesboro has wayfinding signs like Northfield. But throughout downtown, they have many tourism maps, in various sizes, in all sorts of places. Could we benefit from this?

Update: 7/06, 10 am. I’ve added these photos:

Kiosk with downtown directory on Sesquicentennial Plaza Tourism map (handout), downtown Lanesboro
Left: Kiosk with Northfield downtown directory on Sesquicentennial Plaza
Right: Tourism map (handout), downtown Lanesboro

Update: 07/10, 8 am. I’ve added these photos of the pad of tourism maps now available in The Sketchy Artist (thank you April Ripka), Studio Elements, and probably other stores downtown.

April Ripka with pad of downtown Northfield tourism maps at The Sketchy Artist pad of downtown Northfield tourism maps

More public art on Fifth Street | Lampe Law Office

Art.Org and the Lampe Law Group have announced the “Five Sculpture Project“, in which works of art would be displayed on the pedestal in front of the Law Office at 105 East 5th Street (across from the Rueb ‘N’ Stein).

ArtOrg is bringing together five artists that will create large works in an activity we call the “Five Sculpture Project”. The five sculptures will be exhibited at the pedestal in front of the Lampe Law Group in downtown Northfield, Minnesota. The projected public unveiling of the project will be in the fall of 2010, and thereafter each sculpture will be on display for a period of ten weeks each, or a total “Five Sculpture” display period of one year.

Since late 2008, the Lampe Law Office pedestal has displayed the Mac Gimse work entitled “Between Earth and Sky“.  Both the Five Sculpture Project and Art.Org have received partial funding through the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund via the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment which was adopted after State referendum in November 2008.  (The firm also makes a monthly donation to help fund this public art project.)

The partners at Lampe Law Group (Lance Heisler, Tim Morisette, and Maren Swanson) are all very enthusiastic about this project, and are looking forward to the installation of a new work later in the year.

And, in an editorial comment, and with my “civic booster” hat on, I want to hand it to the Lampe Law Group for their direct support of public art and the Northfield arts community via their donation of money and of prominent display space. Thank you!

Photo album: Northfield at sunset

Last Wednesday evening, a thunderstorm passed just to our north. As the skies cleared in the west as the sun was going down, I snapped some photos of the yellow glow on Carleton’s campus overlooking Lyman Lakes, at the top of Laird Stadium, and on downtown Northfield from Ames Park. A small rainbow emerged at just the right time.

See the album of 9 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Enforcing a ‘community expectations’ policy for downtown

Vandalism At tonight’s work session: “The City Council is being asked to discuss the adoption of a “Community Expectations” policy statement addressing cleanliness, respect, safety, and pedestrian friendliness in the downtown area.” I’ve been whining about graffiti, bikers on sidewalks, and noisy vehicles for a long time. But I’m not sure why public panhandling, swearing, spitting and urinating are included. And if the policy is adopted, what’s implied about enforcement?

Continue reading Enforcing a ‘community expectations’ policy for downtown

Solutions for Northfield’s “parking problem”

Maybe some of these could work here….?

Photo album and videos: PCCS students rally for Northfield First (shop local)

Chanting “Save our town, or we’re going down",” students from Prairie Creek Community School held a “Northfield First” rally on Bridge Square yesterday. See the album of ten photos, the full-screen slideshow, or this slideshow… and following that, a 25-second video, and a 5-minute video.

(continued) Continue reading Photo album and videos: PCCS students rally for Northfield First (shop local)

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