Corridor “Door Knock,” 05-02-09

By robb, May 27, 2009 9:34 am

On May 2, 2009, project staff conducted a corridor door knocking in the Minnehaha-Hiawatha corridor to provide information and collect input from residents on their community.  Project staff knocked on all single-family and duplex residences in the corridor (between Lake Street and Minnehaha Park and from Hiawatha Ave to the east side of Minnehaha Avenue).  Residents were asked one question to understand their future vision of the corridor:  “Five years from now, the Minnehaha-Hiawatha corridor will be a better place to live because…”  Over 150 residents answered the question.  These responses are listed below by category:

Economic Development

More businesses
• More business in this area. It is a busy road, so there should be business.
• Needs more commercial development.
• I have seen many businesses get shut down, and I would like to see them reopen.
• Economic development. More viable businesses
• The new nice restaurant that just moved in. We just went to one! Hope to see more small business coming in. Not tearing down grain elevators.
• Wants more businesses. On Minnehaha almost all small businesses are vacant. Small businesses are just leaving.
• Commercial development (anything) along the light rail.
• A big concern about Minnehaha & Lake is that there are vacant commercial spaces, especially mill space. Want businesses that don’t rely on people physically coming in to their business.
• I already like some of the businesses and I like the diversity. More neighborhood restaurants and shops-quality places that draw people to the community.
• More stable small businesses.
• More local businesses.
• Return of small businesses.
• More small shops/businesses.
• More small, family-owned businesses.
• Anything to do to keep businesses alive. Bar next to her used to have drunks out all time, but dollars helped to keep drunks away.
• Getting rid of crappy businesses, like taxi company. Had horrible, unfriendly neighbors.
• Immediate problem: lot more small businesses, i.e., laundromat. If you drive, you can go there, but if not, it’s hard.
• Community conveniences.
• More businesses already improving area.
• If a lot (of) buildings weren’t vacant. No empty buildings and if they had businesses.
• Add more restaurants/bring in business!

Industrial Properties
• I would like them to tear down that mess there (meaning the bins and industrial silos on Hiawatha) and put a mall or something there.
• Tear down grain elevators and put in something different.
• Beautified industrial area. Silos aren’t that attractive. More local businesses instead, professional office spaces, small specialty retail. Give people a better and more accurate impression of neighborhood.
• Retail to replace silos as they come down.
• We like our business and light industry neighbors. Local businesses in neighborhood to meet our needs. Don’t want to be a tourist/yuppy place that forces us to drive to the burbs.
• Improvement of railroad corridor. More attention brought to it. Need to monitor it.
• Clean up little factories around here.
• Get more improvement – mill on 55.
• Own block along Hiawatha – more commercial. Want to become more commercial, less industrial, less grain elevators. Other than that, fine.
• Continued development of Hiawatha corridor. Residential and commercial move away from industrialization.
• Tear down Purina.

Parking
• Keep enough parking available for businesses, yet put meters by post office. People need parking so businesses not move away.
• Make sure enough parking for people to get on the light rail.
• Park closer to house.

Development and Jobs
• Redevelopment at 46th & Minnehaha
• New building. Get rid of trashy buildings and places. Malls.
• Need development – abandoned places.
• If there was more stuff in the community like more jobs, that type of stuff.
• Continued local employment. Keeps neighborhood stable.

Land Use and Housing

Development Types
• You have people and businesses living in the same area, so how do you create harmony there? More funding to upgrade. New businesses.
• It’s still residential.
• Mix of residential and businesses and light industry.
• Make sure not all land or apartment rentals at risk to neighbors. Yet make sure space for elderly and special needs so cost-efficient, affordable housing for elders and special needs adults.
• Group home for elderly here.
• Keep low income housing out of here. No subsidized living around here.
• Housing in corridor stays affordable
• More houses than apartments. Apartments are trouble. Have more family-oriented housing.
• Ability for people at different stages of life to stay in neighborhood. No more high density housing. More single family or small apartment buildings.
• More owner-occupied housing so more relationships, better property upkeep, safer.
• No high density development (Purina area). Fewer vacant lots (put people).
• Don’t build the apartments on 46th Street. Corridor should stay the way it is. No development
• New apartments a plus. I see it all going up hill.
• Tear down grain elevators and add condos.
• Needs managed growth. Balance number of apartments with number of property owners.
• Less density. Too many apartment buildings being developed. Not enough parking.
• New apartments add to the neighborhood. They add more diversity in neighborhood. Want more of that type of development.

Housing Maintenance
• Houses are getting fixed up – feeling safer, looking nicer.
• Low interest loans – fix up program.
• Better houses.
• Upkeep of older homes.
• Remains a stable neighborhood. People employed and can pay their mortgage. Owner-occupied and can afford to stay in home. Properties are well-maintained.
• Fix houses. Look better.
• Less absentee landlords. 17 years resident. New neighbors little investment.
• Get neighbors to clean up homes/property. Get people to take care of their stuff. Foreclosures. Hope LRT will stabilize property values.
• Houses are getting fixed up – feeling safer, looking nicer.
• Foreclosures need to stop.
• Fewer vacant homes.
• Longfellow Loans – very helpful
• More consistent home and yard maintenance. Caring about their properties.

Mobility

Bike and Pedestrian Access
• More walkers and bikers.
• Connectivity is really great. Need to connect bus, light rail, and bike lane. Extend the bike trail, overpass, etc.
• Bike paths.
• Businesses on Hiawatha need bike racks.
• Walkways over Hiawatha.
• No place to ride a bike on 46th Street. Take out median and put in bike path. We’ll be able to use bikes on 46th Street.
• Ride bike, lights on Hiawatha to be more pedestrian/bike friendly crossing or along Hiawatha, always don’t walk. Easier way to cross Hiawatha. Minnehaha full of cars now. Impossible to cross. Has to go to 42nd to cross light.
• Needs to be a pedestrian bridge at 38th & Hiawatha. When people get off the train, it is difficult to cross.
• Address pedestrian.
• Not safe. Dangerous child crossing. Make pedestrian walkway.
• Crosswalk at 44th & Hiawatha and 45th & Hiawatha.
• Bike lanes on east side of Dight.
• Sidewalk on Dight.
• It will be commuter friendly, as in non-car.

Traffic Safety
• Cars drive too fast! Signs waning “Kids are Playing” and efforts to slow down traffic.
• Cars speeding in neighborhood. Make people more aware that kids are playing. Improve safety for kids. Improve street lighting – consistent, functional lighting.
• Safer streets.
• More regulation of traffic, especially in winter when relief traffic (? from Hiawatha). Reduce speeds. Many kids. Fast traffic on Hiawatha so not jeopardize children.
• Speed of traffic.
• Traffic control on 46th Street. Speed issues. People won’t stop for pedestrians.
• Stop speeding down street. Because of Hiawatha, used Snelling.
• Train causing traffic problems, accidents, and parking issues.
• Less traffic on Snelling. During rush hour traffic has increased speeding because they have lost time. Been here long time in industrial area.
• Speed. Traffic issues. Back alley.
• Need to enforce speed limits. Hiawatha traffic moved to Minnehaha. Too fast. Too much traffic too fast.
• Traffic calming on Minnehaha so we can safely cross.
• Nothing really happens. Indifferent. Street traffic control. Accidents waiting to happen. From Lake Street to 31st, crazy intersection.
• Minnehaha has become a new highway which makes it difficult to be a residential neighborhood. Maybe try monitoring the speed on the street better to make it more residential-friendly (police, electronics, more signs?).

Traffic Flow
• On 46th & Minnehaha improve ability to turn left. Causes major backup. Light changes too fast.
• Less traffic on Minnehaha (bleeds off Hiawatha since LRT). Underpass @ 46th to facilitate cross traffic.
• Faster, easier to get across Hiawatha. Faster through traffic on Hiawatha, especially at rush hour.
• Can get across Hiawatha quickly.
• Less traffic on Snelling coming off of Hiawatha, including semitrailer trucks (not permitted on Snelling).
• LRT continues to (undeciperable) industry. Snelling will be repaved. Trucks not on Snelling (posted no trucks). Easier to cross Hiawatha on 42nd. Sometimes backed up to Minnehaha, which also blocks Snelling.
• Timers under pavement on Hiawatha late at night so lone cars don’t wait forever. Traffic will be slower and more controlled on Minnehaha (less traffic shifting from Hiawatha to Minnehaha). Speed enforcement on Minnehaha. Traffic moving faster on Hiawatha.
• Less traffic on Minnehaha (coming from Hiawatha since LRT).
• Less traffic on 42nd Street. No greenway. Repaired roads.
• Less traffic on Snelling.
• Improve traffic patterns on Highway 55.
• Immediate problem: problem crossing Hiawatha to light rail. Something to make safer. Speed control – Hiawatha and Snelling – enforcement, especially since lots of kids.
• Get the traffic off of Minnehaha and back on Hiawatha where it belongs. The other day I saw one of those huge oil tanker 18-wheelers coming down here. I know that they do that because of the lights on Hiawatha, but this area is residential.
• Well maintained roads
• Noise issues. Can’t have window open because of noise.

Transit
• A big part of it is about connecting it to the LRT, making it a pedestrian-friendly place.
• It is pretty good now I guess, but increased service on the 27 busline.
• The light rail system is nice.
• Continued LRT.
• Better bus routes to major destinations – they supplement LRT – like to the University, hospitals, etc. Buses used to run there.
• The LRT will get removed.
• Get rid of light rail traffic.
• Rail train is close. Bus stops – lots. The train is great.
• More light rail to get more places.
• LRT is a big positive.
• LRT and related development has been a good thing to corridor. Hope it will stabilize property values.
• Central LRT connectiion.
• LRT makes neighborhood open for people to get places (accessibility). I moved here because of LRT.
• Light rail already improving area.
• More buses around here.

Government Regulation and Accountability

• Feels taxes are running him out of business. How is Dairy Queen fair?
• Less bureaucracy in government leadership. Less services so less fees. School reform.
• Healthcare for elderly.
• Property taxes are going up and people wonder why homelessness. Barely can make it. Every year raise taxes. How expect people to keep up house? I can’t retire. My taxes are more than my house payments.
• Double-digit property tax increases in the past eight years, but not too upset because property value hasn’t plummeted
• I want to see some kind of property tax relief to help the housing crisis. It should come from the city, but maybe the county can help. It would help the homes with upkeep.
• Is there assistance for landlords? Bought rental property foreclosure. How can we help?
• Don’t give private investors money for investments. $1.5 million. Housing – don’t want it to be my money. Developer.
• Does not like the pedestrian overlay.
• When the house prices are down then taxes should be down. Higher taxes are not fair. The houses are in poor condition, yet the prices are still high and the taxes are far too high. It is makin us homeless. We are the people of the area. Government is multiplying homelessness.
• They did everything they said they would: bike trails, green space, schools, and improving housing (people able to improve on their own house). Take down some old places.
• City and County government listen to people instead of pocketbooks.
• This is already a nice community. It would be better if these meetings really did collect community input and create change. We’re skeptical of how we’ll be heard.
• Schools reopened.
• Return NRP to local neighborhood control (e.g. closing neighborhood elementary school).
• I think the baseball stadium is a poor investment. It is a money loser.
• Government working with local businesses to maintain and keep it local.
• I want more library hours and have more homework helpers with more hours. Make it more (?user)-friendly.

Environment and Natural Resources

• Better sections of trees.
• Fix the grass. Less garbage.
• Less litter on Minnehaha. Public landscaping will be better kept up and more attractive -  partnership between public and community.
• More flowers.
• Do something with railroad tracks. Beautify. Quieter.
• Cleaner all around (yards and streets).
• Minnehaha Falls.
• The park – Minnehaha, beautiful neighborhood. I have tons of shade, tons of trees. How does the city decide where to plant trees. I want less shade for my garden.
• Hope to see more green space, especially along the greenway.
• Community gardens.
• More open space at Minnehaha Park, less bushes. Mosquito treatment.
• Green space. Playground.
• More park accessory – Expand Minnehaha Park.
• Continued dog park.
• We need bigger parks!
• More parks. More hours for the homework helpers. (15 year-old boy)
• I’ve been here for 38 years. It would be a better place to live if we added more rain gardens.
• Volunteer-based community gardens and other beautification. Nicer landscaping and volunteer opportunities for Minnehaha Park. If opportunities were available, people would help out with things like community gardens.
• Remove garbage along roads.
• Cleaner. Less litter, especially from Burger King and McDonalds.
• Something has to be done with the water supply. It smells funny. It tastes funny. We shouldn’t have to have air alert days!

Neighborhood Livability

Sense of Community
• People watch out for each other. Make environment more safe, such as with neighborhood watch.
• Get to know the people around you (diversified neighborhood). Have neighbors, but do not know them.
• Better people. Friendly. Get along. Good neighbors. Speak to one another.
• Keep clean. Respect other people. Would like a bit more interaction with neighbors.
• Be neighborly by watching out for each other’s possessions.
• People get involved in the community, such as doing things for other people.
• People will be working all together. Involved with Incarnation Church.
• People who work and live here will make it better. Community will come together and work as a team.
• Sense of community. Knowing each other. Taking care of neighborhood. Happy.
• Depends on neighbor. They decide if neighborhood is good or bad.
• Happiness, economy, neighborly attitude, like saying “hello.”
• Neighbors pretty darn good, but don’t know neighbors across street.
• Neighbors get to know each other better. More outings. Better events.
• Good neighborhood and community sense and community spirit.
• Because the community will be closer. Has daughter and there’s not enough of a sense of community. Get to know neighbors. People reach out to each other.
• I think people need to learn to get along and live and work together. People usually only come together when there are disasters, but they need to work together on a more regular basis.
• Community get-togethers. People get to know one another and make better neighborhood.
• More community activities / block parties. Have kid/block parties. More community cohesion.

Crime and Safety
• Less violence
• More police patrols. Screen people, such as child molesters, rapists. Crime stop meetings.
• Less graffiti.
• There is less crime and less drug dealing. I just moved here a few months ago and I am surprised by the conditions. We need more surveillance! More police would be helpful. I don’t like to see erratic behavior. I worry about property like cars being on the street.
• Safety-fewer gangs in area, less graffiti, fewer robberies (cars, car stereos), and vandalism.
• Safety- more sense of neighborhood, more people working together. It’s hard living on Minnehaha-big, wide street. I have rental properties on both sides of me and I don’t know neighbors.
• Less crime. More vandalism and graffiti since LRT.
• More police patrolling (alley safety). Police interacting with kids and community.
• Less cops.
• Crime prevention. More police.
• Improve police situation. Non-existent, non-responsive.
• Making safer for kids. Neighborhood watch program. Cars speeding almost hit her and kids.
• No crime or less. No gang violence.
• Dump furniture in places. Graffiti!
• Lower crime stats (UCR?).
• Kids throw things from bridge onto greenway from Cedar to Chicago. Fence?
• Decrease car break ins on Snelling. Breaking car windows. That’s it.
• Graffiti in back alleys.
• Eliminate 32nd & Minnehaha drug dealing. Better police patrol at night – popular streets. Violence – feel really unsafe, gangs. Can’t walk anywhere at night – need cops. Slow police response rate. Police cameras on Bloomington just moved to 16th and 15th. High prostitution.
• Crime in the streets
• Continue to be a safe neighborhood.
• Better streetlights

Activities for Kids
• More activities for kids. Bigger rec center. More events for youth. More organizations and programs.
• A recreation center in addition to YWCA & Powderhorn Park. More things for kids to do.
• More youth activities. Used to be block parties, but not anymore. Neighborhood sports. More pickup games and organized teams. There isn’t much going on around here anymore.
• There will be more youth activities. We’ll get the drop-outs away from the kids who want to stay in school. Show movies, play games – mix learning with fun! Used to do boys/girls club and street works. Had his own flag football team and coordinated youth activities for a while.
• Place for teenagers (skatepark).

Other

• It’s an upgrade to the community. I’m a cook and a painter. Not very specific about ideas for change.
• Pretty nice now.
• It’s not going to be. Process of improving, but it’s not working. High prostitution. Drive out middle class. Bring in condos, it’s the goal to raise property taxes!
• New residents.
• Leave it alone. Wouldn’t change a damn thing.
• This corridor is heaven compared to where I came from (37th & Chicago).
• I have lived here for two years. I rent. It is very safe and there are good people here. He couldn’t imagine how to make it better.
• Not sure. Moved in three months ago. Hesitated at first because of business on Minnehaha and close proximity to Lake Street, but loves it so far.

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