Another problem solved by the City of Northfield’s Engineering Dept: a new curb cut on Jefferson Parkway

Back in late May, I blogged about Roosevelt Drive’s new sidewalk and at the end of the post, wrote:

Jefferson Park trail at Jefferson ParkwayOne thing that still puzzles me, however, is the end of the trail that goes through Jefferson Park. It connects to the sidewalk but across the street, there’s a sign on the north side of Jefferson Parkway that says “TRAIL ROUTE” with a 90 degree arrow. If the intent is to signal people that now on-street walking/biking is required, it seems like there should be a curb cut there where a section of the sidewalk was just replaced.  Or am I confused?

George Kinney reported that he’d brought it to the attention of City Engineer Joe Stapf and about a week ago, I got CC’d on an email from George to Joe:

Thank you, Joe and TJ!  From a distance, I saw a crew working yesterday at the Parkway entrance to Jeff Park, and hoped it was the trail/street completion. I rode past at 5:30 this morning, and it looks great! Now I won’t have to try to jump the curb. :-)

Joe replied:

Actually, it was Sean Simonson and Steve Bennett from the Engineering Department,  working thru the Street Improvements project contractor, Heselton Construction, and their concrete subcontractor, who made this happen.  I will pass on your thanks.

curb cut, Jefferson Park trail at Jefferson Parkway curb cut, Jefferson Park trail at Jefferson Parkway
I rode my bike on the trail yesterday and indeed, it’s just like George said. Cool.  I love it when City staff pays attention to citizens on small stuff like this and quickly gets things done.

Roosevelt Drive’s new sidewalk

Grant Park trail at Jefferson Parkway Grant Park trail at Jefferson Parkway Roosevelt Drive's new sidewalk

Roosevelt Drive's new sidewalk Sidewalks at Roosevelt Drive and Jefferson Parkway Roosevelt Drive's new sidewalk
Roosevelt Drive sidewalkI noticed last week that the new sidewalk on Roosevelt Drive is being installed, part of this summer’s Lockwood Division Roosevelt Street Improvements Project. (See my black arrows and black loop on a screenshot of the area on the image on the right. It’s taken from the Comprehensive Parks and Trails Map pdf.)

It’ll be great to have more off-street walking/biking in the neighborhood, plus it’ll connect to the Grant Park trail at one end and the sidewalks by the Senior Center and the NCRC building at the other, all part of a network of sidewalks and trails by the High School and Bridgewater Elementary.

Jefferson Park trail at Jefferson Parkway Jefferson Park trail at Jefferson Parkway Trail Route sign; Jefferson Park trail at Jefferson Parkway
One thing that still puzzles me, however, is the end of the trail that goes through Jefferson Park. It connects to the sidewalk but across the street, there’s a sign on the north side of Jefferson Parkway that says "TRAIL ROUTE" with a 90 degree arrow. If the intent is to signal people that now on-street walking/biking is required, it seems like there should be a curb cut there where a section of the sidewalk was just replaced.  Or am I confused?

Hey LaVerne, don’t forget to shovel your sidewalk

Ole Café snow-covered sidewalk Ole Café snow-covered sidewalk LaVerne Rippley
The Ole Café closed on Feb. 20,  the same day southern MN got hit with a big snowstorm. I noticed yesterday that the sidewalk in front of the store has not yet been shoveled. Believe it or not, LaVerne Rippley owns the building.

The City of Northfield’s policy on the shoveling and clearing private sidewalks reads:

By city ordinance (Ch. 70 Article I, §70-2) property owners are responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalks adjacent to their property within 12 hours after snow or ice precipitation has stopped. If snow and ice are not removed, it may be removed by authorized city personnel, and the costs for snow removal will be assessed against the property. Residents may report uncleared sidewalks to the Public Works office (contact information listed on the right side of this page).

I guess I’ll have to tattle on LaVerne to TJ so something can be done before next week’s big snowstorm hits.

Sidewalks and planters and trees, oh my!

Robbie Wigley, drinking bubble tea on Eat StreetRobbie and I had our first experience with bubble tea on Saturday. Yum. (The rumors continue to swirl around Northfield that’s a bubble tea restaurant that’s going into the into the old Bagel Bros on Division St.) We got our drinks at Cafe Thang Bom on Eat Street before we grabbed some takeout at Harry Singh’s Original Caribbean Restaurant (yum again).

Sidewalks at 28th and NicolletWhile walking around the intersection of 28th and Nicollet, I noticed how the in-ground trees, the planters, and the tables, chairs, and umbrellas for sidewalk dining all made for an attractive urban landscape.

Sidewalks at 28th and NicolletAnd I noticed that the less-than-five-feet of clearance between the tables and the buildings does not seem to be an issue. 

Why do I mention it?  Because the issue is back before the Northfield City Council this week as staff have brought back two options for trees on 4th St. reconstruction, one of which seems to include some faulty assumptions.

I’ve closed comments here. Join the discussion attached to the blog post,  Council directs staff to include sidewalk trees on 4th St. reconstruction.

Guest blogger Sean Hayford O’Leary: The Sidewalks That Weren’t – Northfield’s 10 worst

cedar-smallAs I’ve mentioned on Northfield Nonmotorized, Northfield is in the process of making full sidewalk coverage the standard. In the last few years, they’ve consistently added sidewalks during street reconstructions — many on both sides. All new roads within the last fifteen years (save for a few rogue culs de sac) have sidewalks. However, there are definitely some areas that are missing this essential piece of a safe roadway. Note that these roadways are not limited to city-maintained streets or the city limits. This is about Northfield-area problems, and I do note when an entity other than the City of Northfield is responsible. (continued) Continue reading Guest blogger Sean Hayford O’Leary: The Sidewalks That Weren’t — Northfield’s 10 worst

Guest blogger Bill Ostrem: Rice County leaves its sidewalk and path policy unchanged

County Road 43

County Road 43

Last August the Rice County Board of Commissioners made a change in their transportation policy that goes against the interests of people who walk, bike, or use wheelchairs in our community. It’s a change that’s detrimental to many of the most vulnerable users of our transportation system, including children, seniors, the poor, and the handicapped. (continued) Continue reading Guest blogger Bill Ostrem: Rice County leaves its sidewalk and path policy unchanged

Downtown sidewalk brick dividers on the way out

Contractor crew I took this photo Wed. morning of a contractor removing several sections of the crumbling red brick embedded in the sidewalk on the east side of Division St. downtown. They later filled the sections with plain concrete.

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