Tag Archives: streets

Let’s Stage a “Sit-Out”

Sit-inI’ve had it.

As I mentioned at the tail end of our podcast a couple of weeks ago, I’m thinking that a little civil disobedience might be in order in re the outdoor dining situation in Northfield.

Let’s pick a date and stage a “sit-out”! The restaurants in town could put out tables and chairs, citizens would be encouraged to bring their lawn chairs downtown and we’d fill up the sidewalks. If we got enough of the businesses to participate, I doubt that the City Council would hold their liquor license renewals hostage, or whatever consequences are being dreamed up for violating our current prohibitions.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen….. lend me your chairs. Any takers? Suggested dates?

A new way to bike your groceries, kid, spouse, computer, laundry, kitchen sink around town

Xtracycle Xtracycle
Someone has a new Xtracycle (sport utility bicycle) here in Northfield:

Imagine your favorite bike, with the rear wheel stretched out behind the seat, a big, stable platform for a load or a passenger, and elegant saddlebags on either side that are expandable when you need them and are cleanly out of the way when you don’t. Best of all, your bike is still lightweight and fast, and because the load is centered between your two wheels, the whole package handles with ease. Suddenly you have much less need or desire to drive around town for your errands. Picture this: a breezy unloaded ride to your favorite grocery store, coasting reliably around corners; arriving ahead of traffic; parking at the rack directly in front of the entrance; shopping and easily loading your four bags of groceries; then pedaling home, care-free on a bike that handles just as swiftly now that it’s loaded.

Traffic Fatality Near NHS

Some very sad news – a pedestrian was killed, and another injured, this morning at the intersection of Hwy 246 (Division Street) and Jefferson Parkway. Names have not yet been released. Both the Northfield News and the StarTribune have reported on the incident.

According to the Northfield News,

The intersection is under review as part of a $30,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant awarded last month to the city and its Non-motorized Transportation Task Force. The task force, in its grant application, said that the intersection, which is adjacent to three schools, is unsafe.

I’m sure Bill Ostrem and others on the Task Force will keep us apprised of the developments. It is truly sad that it often seems to take a tragedy of some magnitude to get people’s attention about pedestrian and bicycle safety, and make them realize that streets aren’t just for cars and trucks.

Downtown streets in the winter: good, bad, or ugly?

Downtown building owner and resident Bart ‘put your money where your mouth is’ de Malignon has a letter to the editor in this week’s Northfield News titled, Downtown streets aren’t that clean.

Bart de MalignonWith all due respect to our city workers and their late-night shifts, our downtown streets are a mess. Intersections, crosswalks and curbs are full of snow and slush. According to Joel Walinski, “The city’s standard is to plow streets – curb to curb – within twelve hours after the snow ends.” Saying it doesn’t make it so.

I walked through Bridge Square at noon on Thursday, the 24th, and the streets are still a mess. Friends and family visiting from other communities ask me, “What gives with the snow removal?” If downtown building owners, tenants and residents are required to park off-street at night from December to March, why can’t the city meet their standard and really plow “curb-to-curb?”

Here’s a link to the article in last week’s Northfield News that  Bart was responding to: How they plow: City, county, MnDOT march to own beats.