POCKET PARK -- and PARKING

 

Last month, community members met with Linden-Hills-resident/Civil-Site-Group-Landscape-Architect Patrick Sarver to review and critique the plans for the Pocket Park at the corner of 43rd and Upton.   

 

The meeting generated a variety of suggestions.   Mr. Sarver then went back to the drawing board, incorporated a new set of changes, and the Pocket Park Design has now been forwarded to The Linden Contractor for pricing.  

 

Three opportunities may still face the neighborhood –

 

  • The Naming of the Park

  • Possible Installation of Public Art

  • Possible input regarding park paving  materials

    • Sarver stated at the meeting that The Linden developer had budgeted for gray, decoratively-scored  concrete

    • Community members noted that pervious pavers are much more desirable

    • The contractor’s budget will include two prices; one for the gray scored- concrete, and one for the upgrade to pervious pavers.

 

Stay tuned:  I will forward more information when it becomes available to me.   And of course – we welcome a dialogue here at Linden-Hills.com.  Please submit any questions, and I’ll try to get answers. 

 

PARKING

 

I wish I had the same positive feeling about parking as I do for the pocket park... I can’t tell you how disappointed I was with this bit of news:

 

According to City – Minneapolis is about to spend $70,000 on a “turnaround” at the end of the Right-of-Way that goes west from Upton toward Xerxes.   That “alley-like-passage-road” currently has angled parking on both sides of it as it passes between Great Harvest Bakery and Upton 43 – and it then it becomes perpendicular parking (along the white wall, belonging to the church) as it passes behind Settergren’s Hardware. 

 

City’s proposal is this:   To relieve the current problem --  which is that the only way out of that one-way roadway is to drive through Settergren’s private parking lot, or to drive through the church’s private parking lot – City will now create a turnaround back where the Abandoned Trolley Way is currently roped off.   Thus – the EXTREMELY NARROW one-way passage between the angled-parking-spots will now become a two-way passage way.  And those parking spots will likely disappear.

 

According to this new $70,000 proposal -- Cars will not only be driving into the parking area off Upton – and over that narrow curb-cut crossing the sidewalk between the two buildings -  but now cars will also be driving back out.

 

Prepare for extreme traffic jams there.  Not only in the passage way – but literally, right on Upton.  It’s not hard to imagine cars trying to exit that area while one car coming north on Upton wants in, and another car coming south on Upton also wants in. 

 

Beyond the gridlock -- let’s hope – truly – that we do not have a pedestrian accident.

 

Frankly – I was stunned at the outcome of this meeting.   This plan was presented as a done deal.  And there was little suggestion that there was ever going to be any consideration given toward implementing other – somewhat obvious -- workable ideas.  

 

In my opinion – There are MANY ways to ensure safe/quiet one-way passage all the way through that Trolley Right of Way such that Linden Hills will benefit from more parking and less congestion. 

 

Rumors abound about how and why that right-of-way was closed off in the first place  - and apparently –  We do not yet have the political will to open it back up.  Something is in the way – and I suspect it is something greater than the power of the 12 homeowners who live on 43rd street and who tend to lobby hard to keep it closed.       

 

Meanwhile – The Village attracts better restaurants and commercial tenants, and a serious parking problem is coming our way. 

 

*

There is some hope that City might NOT waste money on this poorly-conceived-solution.   The Linden Hills Business Association and Mark Settergren are pursuing other creative ideas – ways to compensate Settergren’s and allow some temporary reprieve for the problem of "no exit" from the small parking area we do have. 

 

But I sure wish serious consideration would be given to doing the right thing – and opening that Trolley Right of Way, which was always meant to be used for the greater good and the benefit of all.

 

Larry LaVercombe

erstwhile Linden Hills Zoning Chair

   Realtor

and

   Publisher:  Linden-Hills.com

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