Midtown Farmers’ Market, 05-03-08

By admin, July 1, 2008 6:40 am


The Midtown Farmer’s Market survey was conducted on opening day, May 3, 2008. The market ran from 8 am to 1 pm at Lake Street and 22nd Avenue South. The weather was cold and windy and the late spring meant no perishable items were for sale except for a mobile butcher shop and a coffee stand. Due to the weather and this being the first market of the summer, the turnout was good but certainly the organizers would have hoped for better.

Under the direction of public participation consultant Anne Carroll, the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute student team split into two shifts at a booth rented from the Corcoran Community Council, which is responsible for the market. A large sign explained the purpose: “Minnehaha-Hiawatha Corridor Community Listening Station.” The students greeted people, explained who they were and what they were doing, then asked the following survey question: What kinds of improvements do you think would create a more vibrant community and increase your quality of life? Below are survey responses followed by the survey form.


Broadly speaking, community members who participated in the survey ranged from young couples and families who had just moved in the area to older community members who had lived in the area for many years. The majority of market attendee/respondents identified themselves as either avid commuter bicyclists or recreational bicyclists and indicated that there is potential for many improvements to the existing bicycle infrastructure. Another common theme was the desire to see more green spaces, increased connectivity, and more community gardens in the corridor area. A major safety concern identified was pedestrians and bicycles being unable to cross Hiawatha Avenue safely. Detailed responses are presented by category below.

Environmental issues
• Encourage planting trees and shrubs throughout the corridor.
• Encourage building rain gardens on residential and commercial property.
• Increase and preserve green space and protect them with conservation easements.
• Increase green spaces, specifically community gardens (Minnehaha community garden) for growing vegetables/fruit/herbs, etc. Community gardens teach young generation about food, and acts as a multigenerational meeting place that enhances community character.

Physical Infrastructure
• Create more multi-modal transportation options servicing the corridor

Bicycle infrastructure issues
• Dedicated bike paths on every street and maintain existing bicycle paths
• Extend the bikeway
• Two part bike trail for serious bikers and recreational bikers
• Create more bicycle connections, especially from Hiawatha to Minnehaha Park – difficult to cross. Bicycle access is important
• Encourage bike commuting infrastructure – plow bike lanes in winter – implement call system for bike paths (one number to call about bike lane status, or website)
• There should be a bicycle-only path along the Hiawatha corridor
• Create all-season bike/scooter parking and create more bicycle parking
• Create a bicycle greenway down the corridor
• Put the bike lane on Minnehaha where the parked cars are, then put the parked cars where the bike lane now is, this will protect the bikers more

Pedestrian amenities in the corridor area
• Double sidewalks are good
• Pedestrian bridges should be built over Hiawatha
• Promote walkability throughout the corridor
• Add more walking paths in the corridor

LRT along Hiawatha Ave.
• Better signage for LRT stations
• More LRT stops (35th or 32nd)
• More plantings along LRT line
• More LRT parking for commuters
• Encourage cycling amenities at the LRT stations
• Emphasize on LRT connection to local businesses around the stations, through signage.
• Do not have an arm that blocks people from the intersection where the LRT is, it can hit you on the head.

Roads within the corridor area
• Minnehaha should be repaved, especially above the Greenway – lots of potholes
• People often take Minnehaha instead of Hiawatha, because the lights are so long
• Create turnabouts or one ways on Minnehaha at intersections where there are triangle parcels of Land to reduce accidents, or make access to intersection clearer
• Keep the bumps in the intersections where the train tracks are, kids think they are fun to bike over

Accessibility issues
• Connecting between east and west sides of Hiawatha; streets shouldn’t start and stop
• Community linkages
• More access to greenway
• Hiawatha is a barrier between neighborhoods – separates physically and in perceptions
• Time lights better on Hiawatha

Greenway/parks within the corridor area
• Greenway should be opened up for the handicapped
• Increase access to the greenway
• Repair broken equipment in the parks

• Better maintenance of existing landscaping
• Landscape the median down Hiawatha – currently it looks ugly
• Planting trees along Hiawatha was good
• Natural landscaping throughout corridor

Safety concerns (pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile)
• Better crossing on Lake St. for pedestrians
• Roundabout in Minnehaha Falls is lethal
• Make crossing on Minnehaha easier/safer; currently it is not safe
• More cops
• Safety at the LRT stations
• Trains make it hard to cross Hiawatha
• Not safe to ride bicycles on Minnehaha Ave.
• Lower speed limits in the neighborhoods from 30-25 mph

Business concerns
• Promote new local small businesses in the corridor
• Support business that aren’t chains
• Assist local businesses
• Encourage newsstands, smaller vendors at LRT stations
• Encourage restaurants
• Promote local businesses
• Add shops at major intersections that both neighborhoods would use
• Promote Mom & Pop stores over corporate chains
• Place new businesses in the area that specifically cater to small businesses (Ex. Fedex/ Kinkos)
• Vacant buildings on Minnehaha
• Address and occupy empty commercial properties

• Help people with housing options
• Shady landlords
• Invest in housing – too many foreclosed houses in neighborhood
• No more housing
• More affordable housing, section 8 housing
• Senior housing
• Acquire substandard property

Revitalization ideas
• Minnehaha Academy needs a better facility
• Acquire unused rail lines and destitute properties
• Old industrial buildings could be reused by artists
• Needs “cleaning up” – there are uninhabited and sketchy storefronts
• Add public art involving collaboration between neighborhood groups and artists – get people involved
• Heart of the Beast-like projects – should be grants to bring in community
• New development should be focused on connecting the neighborhood (Hiawatha cuts community)
• Involve property owners in revitalization process
• Promote mixed use
• Development high-density residential in corridor
• Create new jobs
• Development must be sensitive to diverse communities
• Would like to see the use of intelligent high density mixed use development
• Green up the corridor, use better landscaping and more maintenance of existing landscaping
• Assistance with redevelopment of vacant areas
• Maintain and create open space, parks (safe parks) far enough away from the train
• Do not create condos that would add a new population to the area, create affordable housing for local residents
• Create grocery stores with healthy foods, not a huge chain grocery store, but small stores that have nutritious food available to neighborhoods
• Encourage mixed use with condos on top

Location-specific issues
• Keep 27th by Perkins a one-way
• Put some small building on the corner of Perkins parking lot on Franklin
• Purina Mills project is a good development
• Avoids Hiawatha/32nd intersection because it can be up to 7 minutes, with the timing of the light and the trains
• Not enough space in interchange between Hiawatha & Lake for traffic – maybe decrease the median?
• Try to do something interesting with the Mills; some mills implement interesting landscaping
• Likes how the LRT takes you places like MOA, downtown, library
• Lake Street should be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly
• Revitalize the Howe Elementary building
• Decrease the wait time at the lights on Hiawatha
• The lake street station isn’t easy to get in and out of, the elevator isn’t always working
• Roosevelt library needs to be open five days a week, other libraries are.

Community character
• No gentrification
• Doesn’t like to wait for light rail to go by
• Reflect the community – not just white, promote ethic businesses/street corner neighborhoods
• Create a suggestion box for the neighborhood
• Make Hour Car available
• Preserve historic features in the area
• Public art is important to keeping the community vibrant
• Include the east side of the corridor area in the visioning
• Farmers markets, etc. community events are key
• Create a community green house, similar to a community garden, but in a green house
• Encourage more community spirit, one way to do this would be to paint the street, like what they did in the Hamline neighborhood in St. Paul
• Create a day care for parents to drop kids off so they can run errands and have free Nintendo there
• Corridor cuts through the city, like the interstates, this creates broken neighborhoods similar to what happened to neighborhoods when the interstates where created; Hiawatha Avenue makes you feel cut off from the other side of Hiawatha

Taxation, public expenditures
• No Tax assessments- especially for businesses. No taking from those who chose not to give
• Money should be invested in stopping the midtown burner, not invested in the corridor

Farmers' Market participants

Farmers' Market participants

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