River road to ruin
A beautiful new tunnel and path on Mississippi River Boulevard at Hidden Falls is almost complete. While the city spent millions on this project next to the Highland Bridge development, the existing path on river road under the Ford Bridge is a continuing danger for walkers, cyclists, roller-skiers and anyone else who uses the combined path. All share a five-foot-wide sidewalk pinch-point under the Ford Bridge with a 10-inch sidewalk dropoff directly into 25 mph traffic lanes.
I sent a similar letter two years ago to MyVillager with copies to Saint Paul city departments with no response. Over the years I’ve seen many near-miss incidents where families, children and older walkers meet head-on with bicyclists under the Ford Bridge. Add to that the ubiquitous scooters, roller-bladers and roller-skiers that end up jumping onto the road into two-way car traffic. This pinch-point is sure to see increased traffic with the upcoming growth in adjacent housing and commerce.
The city somehow cobbled together multiple funds for a highly touted tunnel and path at Hidden Falls. Why not fix a less glamorous, existing nearby path before it’s too late? It’s past time to give some attention to a real problem for human safety.
Vote in the primary election
Ten years ago, a 20-something liberal girl saw the world falling apart during Occupy Wall Street and the recession. These things come in cycles. Here we are at the precipice of yet another recession and another election. That girl is now older and wiser, and I feel it’s about time I took some advice from my late father. He told me to vote in primary elections.
Thankfully in Minnesota, we have open primaries. So I, being the left-leaning moderate I grew into, can go and vote for a Republican candidate with whom I find some common ground. But given that the Democrats don’t really represent me either, I’ll be voting in the Democratic primary so I can hopefully nudge them back toward the center. That said, I won’t hold my breath. I just hope this encourages people to follow my example. Voting for someone in the opposing party whom you could live with is the pathway to a smarter political future.
Downtown Saint Paul
A potpourri of opinion
The June 8 issue of MyVillager was filled with news of significant interest to Saint Paul residents, ranging from the University of Saint Thomas’ interest in establishing a sports complex at Highland Bridge, to the ongoing decline of student enrollment in the Saint Paul Public Schools, to Saint Catherine University’s study of racial issues in our housing past and present.
UST’s plans appear to me to threaten the amount of tax increment financing (TIF) available at Highland Bridge. The addition of tax-exempt property threatens both TIF and the projects it is intended to support, including local infrastructure and subsidies for affordable housing. The city should tread very carefully in this area. It should not act until hard figures are available on the impact on TIF and the public has had time to review that impact.
The decline in enrollment in the school district has become an ever-present phenomenon. Can the system be saved or will it be nibbled to death by declining birth rates and student flight to our increasingly monocultural charter schools? Sadly, I see the death of the system in the offing.
Rachel Neiwert, assistant professor of history at Saint Kate’s, is quoted as saying, “I expected I would find stories about the Summit Hill duplex in the Black newspapers, but I didn’t…. Perhaps (racial discrimination) wasn’t news to the Black community in Saint Paul.” Black newspapers never would have been able to generate the ad sales necessary to cover even a small percentage of the injustices meted out each day to Saint Paul’s Black community.
James M. Hamilton
Democracy and insurrection
On June 2, Tucker Carlson said Democrat efforts to promote gun safety are not about public health. Carlson declared Democrats want to disarm people because they’re afraid of a popular uprising against them because “they know they rule illegitimately.” On June 4, Hong Kong police arrested anyone wearing black in the vicinity of Hong Kong’s memorial to the hundreds (possibly thousands) of pro-democracy protesters murdered by Chinese troops 30 years ago at Tiananmen Square.
It’s a sobering comparison between Chinese citizens sacrificing themselves for a democracy, versus a radical right zealot openly calling for jackbooted Second Amendment thugs to rise up in insurrection against a Democrat majority who want a civil and equal society.
I trust our democracy, and I vote in favor of banning weapons of mass destruction so that no citizens will have easy opportunities to express their views in a hail of murder against others who cross their path.
A. Chase Turner
What Summit needs now
Summit Avenue is arguably the most beautiful five miles of road, bike- and walkway in the Twin Cities and beyond. It does not need fewer trees, more pavement, less parking and a different bike path. What it does need is road resurfacing. Its current condition is not only an embarrassment, but the potholes are a danger to cyclists and drivers who swerve unexpectedly to avoid them. Please invest our limited funds for community improvement in projects that are truly needed and beneficial to the entire population, not just a fun project for a few folks looking for something “cool” to do.
Friend or phone?
The phone service we pay for is no longer friendly. No longer a request to converse, it is now a weapon to beguile us into fraud and scam. Why does a computer-prompt voice want to know at 8 p.m. on a Sunday, “Is George there?” We are advised now not to respond to the ring of our phones, not to answer, not to grasp the opportunity to communicate. Gasp.
Do write, won’t you?
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