When you look at Fridley’s city boundaries, you’ll notice it’s more of a “portrait” layout than typical square or “landscape” shape.

Fridley Portrait

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In Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language, he explains how raised paths literally elevate its users to a status above the automobile. I suggest doing this for the entirety of the trail along Old Central Avenue, from it’s split from MN-65 on the south end to 81st Ave. NE on the north. It is an important bicycling and pedestrian connection that is also serviced by Route 10.

It would not require any changes in existing traffic controls – there is only one traffic signal on this route (seen at map marker “A”):

old-central-trail

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In the fall of 2014 I had the opportunity to assist city officials with bicycle and pedestrian counts. I honestly don’t know where the statistics I recorded go, or if they’re actually used. But some observations I made unrelated to the bike/ped count were intriguing…

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In the summer of 2014 I became a member of Strong Towns, an organization that increasingly aligns with how I feel about the places we create, and the money we spend to do so. At the National Gathering, another member asked me what drew me to Strong Towns. The best way I could describe it was that it let’s me “Have my cake and eat it too.”

The Strong Towns message dispenses with the political polarization to get to the heart of the matter. Too long I’ve felt that discussions about walk-ability and bike-ability assume the role of the democrat, while prudent spending rhetoric aligns only with republicans. But taking sides politically, is not useful – especially in regards to local politics which center mostly around land use. In the same vein, it’s better that we get to know our neighbors, so when we disagree on civic issues, we can agree to disagree in a courteous way.

The latest Strong Towns challenge is to deliver goodies to your neighbors. Would this be difficult or awkward for you to do?

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No I don’t mean rename it, Fridley already has a Main St. which was probably named because of its proximity to the railroad.  But if you look at Mississippi St., it truly has the potential to be the main street of Fridley.

Located on it are: city hall, the police and fire department, Fridley’s library, the Fridley Historical Society museum, Hayes Elementary School, several churches, and a few home-based businesses.

Now the bad news: this STROAD is too fast and too wide to provide any value to the businesses and residents on or near it.  It is home to a dumpy strip-mall which is almost impossible to get to as a pedestrian. Mississippi St. could easily go on a road diet.

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