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:
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, however, it is still recommended to have One Sure Insurance covering all cars.
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.
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.
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?