Motorists will once again be able to cross Interstate 35W at 46th Street when the 46th Street Bridge reopens, on Friday, July 31.
Archives for July 2009
Kingfield E-Mail Notice
July 29, 2009
1) Kingfield Announces its 2009 NNO Specialty Ice Cream!
2) Green NNO Party Packs Available to Kingfield Block Leaders and NNO Party Planners THIS Sunday, August 2, at the Kingfield Farmers’ Market, 4310 Nicollet
3) ‘Youth Portraits’: A Public Art Family Project with Leonardo’s Basement, Sunday August 9
4) 3 Days Left–HOURCAR will Waive the Membership Application Fee through July 31
5) A Kingfield DogPark?
6) 1st Annual Kingfield Garden Tour Coming in September—Tour Tickets support Kingfield’s 2010 Gardens!
…take the new survey related to Kingfield Community Gardens at www.kingfield.org !
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Committee Members Present: Alex Baumann, Tom Parent, Robyn Bipes, Jay Roos, Scott Bordon, Arthur Knowles, Marie Wolf, Alex Anderson, Dean Muldoon, JobyLynn Sassily James, Rosemary Dolata,
Staff Present: Sarah Linnes-Robinson,
The committee discussed at length the proposal submitted by the KFNA Green committee to be in the Center for Energy and Environment Pilot Project for Home Energy Assessment, to which KFNA recently was accepted. Redevelopment took up the conversation because of the rapid implementation timeline of the project, the allocation of Phase II housing dollars to the program, as well as KFNA’s committee meeting schedule.
There were many questions raised about what the benefits of this program would be for the neighborhood and for attendees, and how much KFNA was being expected to spend on the program in staffing and communications. Ultimately a decision was reached that Linnes-Robinson would work with CEE, and involved Knowles if a physical meeting was able to be arranged, to get answers to these questions and if they were found to be satisfactory KFNA would enter into the program and if not, the organization would withdraw.
The spending of the $50,000 Phase II dollars allocated to this project are to be used, according to the Plan, as following:
Promote sustainable building techniques and improve the environment.
Increase the use of environmentally friendly construction practices in Kingfield.
Partner with other groups to plan and build demonstration sites on housing for green roofs and other green construction technologies.
To encourage sustainable practices, they need to be visible and people need to be aware of the options, costs, and benefits. By developing, promoting and demonstrating the options for good looking, cost effective, more efficient building techniques in housing, neighbors will become educated and be able to consider and use green construction.
Relationship of Strategy to City Goals:
• Minneapolis Goal #6: Preserve and enhance our environmental, economic and social realms to promote a sustainable Minneapolis.
The KFNA Redevelopment Committee and KFNA Green Committee will work together to identify grants and use the NRP funds as seed money to apply for outside funding that can be used on Kingfield homes for green roofs and other environmentally friendly building techniques.
$50,000 in 2006
The committee decided they did not want to discuss new programs that may be established using these funds until we understood better 1. What federal funding and incentives will be available to whom and for what type of projects and 2. Until we understand more what type of work people attending the workshops want to do.
3912/3916 Blaisdell: An update was provided as to the status of 3912, which does have a purchase agreement by Patrick McGrath. Although Bipes expressed some concerns over the neighbors perception of KFNA and why they would want to take possession of 3916 if the owner to 3912 is an ok landlord, Linnes-Robinson urged the committee to continue to research the purchase of the site since we don’t know the nature of the landlord (either now or into the future if he decides to sell). All we know of the purchaser at this time is he was asked by a friend, who expressed that KFNA had a different intent for the site than for-profit development, to not purchase the site he would not purchase the site and he went ahead and bought the property anyway.
The committee discussed that outreach to the neighbors would need to be done by KFNA to make sure they understand the reasons for KFNA owning the site; but the individual neighbors that may be opposed should not outweigh the larger community good that could happen, as is often the case on issues that KFNA and particularly Redevelopment, work on. Before meetings are help with neighbors, KFNA will wait until the purchase of 3912 is finalized and closed, and then will arrange for a discussion with the City to determine the cost and the procedure. Next steps with the neighbors and determining the use of this green space will be done after that.
Nicollet Avenue—moving to advocacy: Nicollet Pothole will be the Kingfield ice-cream flavor of 2009. We will use this ice-cream on National Night Out to educate people about the horrible state of Nicolet Avenue and the fact that it was moved into the future and out of the 5-year plan of the City for reconstruction. Alex Bauman, Tom Parent and JobyLynn expressed interest in serving on a Nicollet Avenue Task Force with neighbors in Lyndale when one gets established.
The Committee briefly touched on the subject of KFNA’s response to MPLS Pedestrian Master Plan (see attached) and the implications and next steps from BRT bridge access. Staff is continuing to advocate for access from Kingfield to the BRT station at every possible opportunity including a recent request from the Mayor’s office to provide them with ‘shovel-ready’ projects under $100,000 for 2010 as part of their budget (see description below). This issue needs to be taken up directly with the City by the committee in the near future to assure we can safely access this station.
And as a request for projects for the 2010 Mayor’s budget:
Safe and visible pedestrian and bike access to the new 46th Street BRT station and bridge—the planning partners have drawn their lines at the end of the bridge and neglected to consider how people from the neighborhood will access this station. Currently we are looking at:
• Zebra crossings
• Bike boxes
• Cycle in the traffic signal for pedestrians and bicycles only
• Rumble strips (probably the wrong term for a textured surface alerting drivers that they are entering a pedestrian zone)
• Bump out curbs
Wine store proposed at last meeting at 36 and Nicollet—moved to lake
Tour of Jardin Magico for any interested (Linnes-Robinson and Parent are attending)—Thursday 9:30 AM
It was mentioned that motion lights at Mulroy’s would make more sense than the constant-on lights currently there.
Minutes provided by Linnes-Robinson.
July 22, 2009
This evening the Kingfield Redevelopment committee met. Our interest in the energy efficiency project came from the Green committee but because of the accelerated timeline of the pilot project, and due to the dual responsibility for the oversight of NRP funds between these two KFNA committees, we decided to begin the conversation about the organizing and outreach for the energy efficiency project with Redevelopment tonight. The committee expressed a number of questions about the format and intent of the pilot project.
The committee asked that I bring these questions to you and have you consider them before we proceed with this project in Phase 1. If you could let me know the best way to address these questions, whether we should speak by phone, have another meeting of your team with members of KFNA, or another alternative, please let me know as soon as possible. I understand time is of the utmost importance to you to get info out for National Night Out; this rushed timeline is one thing that is causing my committee to pause. They are feeling that the project is being rushed and possibly not enough consideration is being given to fully test various forms of outreach and organizing. We want to make sure that if we are participating in what is being billed as a pilot, that our suggestions will be listened to and considered for the success of all future neighborhoods and cities participating in the project.
Other concerns expressed are as follows:
What financing programs are available that you will be offering to people in Kingfield? The committee wants to understand if partakers in the workshop will be offered a multitude of programs. Many committees members expressed concerns that there are really only a few options coupled which would be coupled with KFNA financing, and we really aren’t able to provide folks with much information or many opportunities. Is there additional money that CEE is bringing to these neighbors participating in the programs through LCCMR? There was a question about what are you putting on the table that is new from what people can find elsewhere, or we are really just directing people to you for financing?
How will you assist people that cannot afford to make improvements? Is income one of the pre-forms you are asking people to submit early? Will information on assistance through programs like Community Action be provided and people directed there by you or the inspector? Do you have a fund established to assist people with the stipend payment for the audit if they cannot afford it, or cannot immediately see the value?
Will infrared detection be used in all home inspections? We have heard from others this is critical in older homes.
Regarding organizing and outreach:
Let me say that we applied for participation in this project knowing that we are expected to cover the cost of our organizing and outreach and have accepted these conditions. As we expressed at the initial announcement of this project, however, we do feel these conditions are unfair and will present barriers for many groups to even work with you. We need to express, for our sake and for future communities you will work with, that in the final project a community organization’s time and connections and established communication tools need to be valued by your organization and compensated in some way. Your success on this project is hinged upon their commitment and interest.
Thank you for listening to our concerns. Please let me know how we can best get our questions answered.
Kingfield Neighborhood Association
To: Anna Flintoft, PTP Transportation Planner, City of Minneapolis
From: Sarah Linnes-Robinson, Executive Director, Kingfield Neighborhood Association
Re: Comments on the Pedestrian Master Plan for the City of Minneapolis
Date: July 20, 2009
In reviewing the Executive Summary of the City of Minneapolis’ Pedestrian Master Plan, there is, as with most Master Plans, little to argue with. The goals are unarguable for a City that has already said it is important to pay attention to walkers. However, the lack of concrete implementation specifics in the entire plan makes it hard to assess if this plan will ever have an impact on redesign in our City.
Additionally, I have concerns with the implementation of Goals 3 (Safe and Convenient Street Crossings) and 4 (A Pedestrian Environment that Foster Walking). Specifically neither of these goals addresses the fact that many jurisdictions own roadways in Minneapolis and have different intent for their use than “walkability”.
The battle that lasted over ten years to have County-owned Lyndale Avenue designed as not just a river of cars is one example. The resistance to change to define the road as serving multiple uses took many hours of volunteer time and staff time from many agencies. The result of increasing the walkability of that street through the current design has changed the feel of the entire avenue. Although we all like to think that attitudes and ideas of these agencies have changed in that time, there are still numerous examples many jurisdictions are still defining their road-use as automotive.
I expect a similar battle to ensue over the pedestrian access (or lack thereof) to the newly designed 46th Street bridge and Bus Rapid Transit Hub; MnDot is planning the bridge for cars, Metro Transit for bus commuters, and neither expect walkers to use the facility or think it is their responsibility to provide them with safe access.
Outside of Kingfield, I have seen the same problems concerning 54th Street which is owned by the County; when questioned as to if safe access across the road can be provided, the City shrugs their shoulders and states it is not their road. Minneapolis needs an implementation strategy to demand that these other agencies allow for safe pedestrian crossings at logical intervals and access along all roads in the City, regardless of ownership.
I have seen similar “conflicts of use” problems directly within the City also. Kingfield Neighborhood struggles with access to our own Community Center, Martin Luther King Park, whose prime doorway sits in the middle of a block on what is considered a “community corridor”. We have been told for years that a crosswalk will not be provided to that entrance because it will be confusing to cars.
I expect we will encounter similar problems in the fall of 2010 when we expect to send many Kingfield kids walking to their new community school of Lyndale. Guaranteeing these children safe and identifiable access across both 36th and 35th Street for their short walk to school during the morning rush hours onto the highway will be a priority for our organization. When public institutions design building with entrances in the middle of a block, it is the City’s responsibility to provide safe access to the doorway.
Additionally, although we appreciate the sentiment of the newer Minneapolis Public Works policy which includes “paint the pavement” options in the City, the restrictions put on this program to not be near a signaled intersection make application of this program as a traffic calming devise almost worthless.
I appreciate that the City is placing enough importance on walking to include a plan for it, but also think it needs to be integrated into the comprehensive plan (not attached as an auxiliary section) or it will most likely be looked at as a second thought when planning projects.
Thank you for the opportunity to offer input on this plan.
KFNA Executive Director