Tag Archives: streets

This big red pickup is poking TJ in the eye

As you may remember from my Oct. 18 blog post, Northfield Street and Park supervisor TJ Heinricy had a Compact Cars Only sign installed at the corner of 3rd & Division in downtown Northfield.  I wrote to TJ about how big the stall was and he replied:

TJ HeinricyGriff: I saw your recent post about the newly installed compact parking stall signage near the intersection of Division Street and 3rd Street.

The new signage was installed after a large amount of citizen requests to resolve a sight issue when going West on 3rd Street onto Division Street. The issue is being able to see oncoming traffic when trying to enter Division Street from 3rd Street.

The stall is planned to be shortened when the City of Northfield contracted paint striper is back in town.

Ever since, this big red pickup truck has been regularly seen parking there. I took photos of it a week ago in this spot. It was there again yesterday morning.

Yes, the parking stall has not yet been downsized so it’s somewhat inviting to those with big vehicles.

But the owner of this big red pickup truck (MN license plate 422 BXL) doesn’t even bother to stay within the boundaries of the stall, making visibility even more of a problem for vehicles descending the 3rd St. hill and turning onto Division.

Red pickup truck in Northfield, MN license plate 422 BXL DSC05303

Anyone know who owns it?

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.

Pavement collapses on a brand new street

pavement collapse at 4th and Division pavement collapse at 4th and Division pavement collapse at 4th and Division
The heavy rain on Saturday morning has collapsed part of the pavement at 4th & Division.  Unlike the hole in the street that opened up on 6th & Division a couple weeks ago, this problem has occurred on a portion of 4th St. that was completely replaced last year.

Will the contractor be held accountable for the repair?

Update, 8 am, 07/26:

It’s worse than I thought.  The pavement has develop a large bulge along the white stripe parallel to the crosswalk, as well as along the concrete edge near the curb, right in front of First National Bank of Northfield.

pavement bulge at 4th and Division pavement bulge at 4th and Division pavement bulge at 4th and Division

Update, 11 am, 07/28:

The street was repaired yesterday, with costs born by the City. See the discussion thread. Photo below courtesy of Hayes Scriven.

Pavement repairs at 4th and Division

Some N. Plum St. residents are unhappy about plans to remove trees for street reconstruction

 North Plum St., east side  North Plum St., east side  North Plum St., east side

  North Plum St., west side  North Plum St., west side  North Plum St., west side
I was alerted by some North Plum St. residents that they’re unhappy with the City of Northfield’s plan to cut down some of the big trees on their street, part of the Linden St N/Plum St N/2nd St W street reconstruction project that’s about to begin.  I took the above photos this morning.

There are a number of variables to consider, of course, when trying to decide about saving trees during street reconstruction, e.g., street width, boulevard width, sidewalks on both sides or not, condition of/types of/size of trees, which side of the street the gas/sewer lines will go, and probably several more.

Elm St. between 4th and 5th  Elm St. between 4th and 5th
In the past, the City has sometimes accommodated residents’ concerns about big trees.  For example, the sidewalk was routed around two big trees on Elm St. between 4th and 5th a few years ago, as the above photos show.

Looking at the Project Process page, the City had 3 neighborhood meetings last fall. "Neighborhood Tour & Individual Property Owner Meetings" are scheduled for April/May.

It’s not clear to me to what extent residents have participated in these meetings and voiced their objections, nor what the city engineering staff’s response has been.

Maybe discussion here can help.

Update 5/14 9:30 am:

tree at 309 N. Linden st.  tree at 309 N. Linden st.  trees at 315 N. Linden st.  trees at 315 N. Linden st.
Here are photos of two homes on the west side of N. Linden St., (309 and 315) before and after the big (maple?) trees were cut down this week.

Update 5/20 7:30 am:

Here’s a one-minute video of the trees of N. Plum St. (pre-reconstruction) heading north between St. Olaf Ave. and Greenvale Ave. My apologies for the shakiness. I was holding the camera with one hand while driving.

Older streets are safer

1874-platSomeone asked me recently to explain why the Planning Commission “doesn’t like culs-de-sacs”. I have a fondness for culs-de-sac and used to live on one, but they do have some serious shortcomings which, to me, outweigh their pleasant aspect. I was interested to read some new research that clearly quantifies ways in which our American suburban street model, which so dominated the second half of the 20th century, is in fact more dangerous than the traditional grid. (continued) Continue reading Older streets are safer

In the Obama-Era, Plans Revive for a Northfield-Twin Cities Rail Line

Logan Nash Dan_Patch_commuter-rail-line-Map Logan Nash, a student in Doug McGill’s journalism class at Carleton College, has written a piece titled In the Obama-Era, Plans Revive for a Northfield-Twin Cities Rail Line (PDF – full text below).

See the Dan Patch commuter rail line/corridor web page on MNDOT’s site for more info, as well as the Northstar Commuter Rail Line website.

Northstar Commuter Rail Line sketch Northstar Commuter Rail Line sketch

In the Obama-Era, Plans Revive for a Northfield-Twin Cities Rail Line

By Logan Nash

With the national economy still a giant question mark, Northfield community leaders are pushing ahead to revive a long-delayed project to build a commuter rail line that would link the town to the Twin Cities metropolitan region.

The national economic downturn is precisely why a serious reconsideration of the commuter line, called the Dan Patch Corridor, is especially warranted right now, the line’s advocates say.

Continue reading In the Obama-Era, Plans Revive for a Northfield-Twin Cities Rail Line

Why the knuckle-busting barriers on Mill Towns Trail bridge?

Barrier on Mill Towns Trail bridge

Josh Rowan sent me this photo of barriers on one of the Mill Towns Trail bridges.

He notes that the barriers are very narrow, forcing bicyclists to put their feet down lest they risk scrunching their knuckles if one of their handlebar-mounted brake levers makes contact with the barrier as they pass through.

Anyone have details?

Smart Car in Northfield

SmartCarNorthfield.jpgI noticed this Smart car parked outside the Grand Event Center a few weeks ago and didn’t have my camera ready. Today, I caught it on film…or in pixels.

I saw my first Smart Car a little over five years ago. My family and I were traveling in Italy and we saw one pull up in front of the sidewalk cafe where we were dining in Siena. At first I thought it was some kind of experimental vehicle.

Later, when we were in Rome, I saw at least a dozen of them. I was really impressed that they were about the same length as a motorcycle and so could park perpendicular to the curbs, basically taking up half the space of a typical car.

If you haven’t seen one up close yet, keep your eyes open for this one. Apparently, it’s in Northfield, at least now and then.

Do me a favor, if you see the driver, ask about the mileage.