The cars speed around the corner off of France onto 49 1/2 street. It is dangerous to cross at the 49 1/2 crosswalk that is west of the walgreens parking lot. It is also very dangerous to cross at any of the corners at France and 49th 1/2 street especially in the morning around 8am and in the evening from 330 to 6pm. Please help with traffic calming in this neighborhood.
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Edina is a place which current residents are very satisfied with, but the long-term success of the suburb depends on how well it competes among those who are choosing a new place to live - both current Edina residents who can relocate within or outside of Edina and those who come here from other communities. We have a natural advantage among those who have family or a job here, or highly value one aspect of community - such as our fine schools - but may be totally unknown by those who would love living here or are working against the bad rap the community has among some for being exclusive - in a negative sense.
In today's Star Tribune a small item from Fortune Magazine reported that Eden Prairie and Woodbury were among the top 50 suburbs in the country. I'll paste the article in below and make comments.
Metro briefs: Two suburbs make list of 'best places to live' in U.S. SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 — 11:05PM
Eden Prairie and Woodbury are the only Minnesota cities to make an annual list of top cities in the country.
The two suburbs are among the top 50 “Best Places to Live” in Money magazine’s 2016 rankings. Eden Prairie came in No. 2 and Woodbury came in No. 11. The magazine ranks all U.S. cities that have populations of 50,000 to 300,000 residents, looking at factors such as taxes, education and health care. The list was limited to no more than four places per state and one city per county.
The magazine pointed out Eden Prairie’s economy, large employers like Supervalu, parks and lakes, and the fact that 95 percent of respondents to a city survey gave the city “good” or “excellent” ratings for quality of life. It also featured a new development called Eden Gardens, a 36-home neighborhood of energy-efficient, high-density homes near Hwy. 212.
It’s the fourth time Eden Prairie has made the list — and its top 10 — since 2006. In 2010, the west-metro suburb came in first.
Woodbury, which has also made the list several times, was singled out for its growing community, amenities and sports facilities, as well as a thriving health and wellness industry, including Anytime Fitness’ new headquarters. To see the full list, go to time.com/money/collection/best-places-to-live/.
Given our bi-polar metro area, only Eden Prairie's presence on the list is significant, but their high ratings are a challenge to Edina, as they have been in this top group multiple times in recent years. While they are a younger population and the rating is for cities over 60,000 population (we have historically been slightly less than that), at least in this rating, they do better than Edina. Edina Public Schools are highly regarded - the top rated in the state - but they have never reached the top 50, much less the top ten.
If you want to be the best, you need to perform. I'll use the examples of our schools. They can choose to be satisfied with their current rating, or accept as their peer group the top 10 or 25 schools in the country, determine why they score better, and do the homework necessary to significantly raise their scores. To me, hitting top 10 would be an impressive goal.
This suburb rating only takes 1 school per county and 4 per state. As long as Eden Prairie scores higher, as we are both in Hennepin County, we can never make the list. We would need for them to slip or raise our performance. There is no other way. If we do better than a suburb rated 7th in the country, we might even be able to reach the top five. Simply beating them one year would be enough to use it as bragging rights with lasting value, but it reflects serious effort. We are shortly dong another quality life survey and long-range development, which makes it a perfect time to raise our performance and turn our desire to be the goal of being a destination suburb into reality.
Last night, I attended a city-organized focus group in which local adult residents were asked to imagine a desired future in terms of Edina’s business development. The group identified an interest making Edina more of a place where people can live, work and go to school. The consultant indicated that the current percentage of residents who both live and work here is low. As commuting times increase, more people are seeking to cut their long commuting times in order to achieve better work-life balance, being more present in their families and more involved in the community.
This was a good insight, but reflected the attitudes of what one person called a group of white folks older than 40 – probably most of us were older than 50. For issues building a network of sidewalks through the city, the planning horizon is 30 years, which as this point takes us nearly to mid century – 2050. I cannot speak for anyone else, but in 2060, if I’m still alive, I will be 100 years old. Everyone in attendance will be gone or well into retirement. The opinions of those most important – those under the age of 35 – were missing from the group. Likely, most people who will be living here in 2050 don’t even live here today.
Personally, my priority is to rebuilt Edina to work for young adults like my children – ages 30 and 32. Many, many of us have children who live out of state, which means for those of us who enjoy being grandparents, we don’t fully enjoy that opportunity.. If they live beyond 30 minutes away, the level of contact isn’t great. If they live in or near Edina, they are going to be easier to see and if they live close to where they work, they will have more times to be good parents and for themselves.
So who needs to tell us what kind of community life they want for their selves and their future families? Who is most likely to take the time to tell us what they think? The children of Edina.
That includes high school students, college students and young adults. They may still live here or somewhere else. If we ask them tell us, if we asked them, what they liked and disliked about growing up here and what attributes of communities they seek and reject. Even if they will never return, wherever they live, they make decisions based on how they view the options they have available, and whatever state where they reside, they may be having positive experiences we could emulate here. Edina Schools are viewed as a strong community asset, and typically viewed in the top 100 in the country. However, Edina nor any other Minnesota school has ever been in the top 50, 25 or 10 schools in the country. Our metro area competes nationally for jobs and talent. Edina Schools are a great example that being excellent doesn’t mean that you cannot get better.
I would recommend that as part of its long range planning process, the city survey EHS high school students and graduates under the age of 35 to determine what factors influence their decision not to return, particularly if it relates to our harsh climate or the job market in their field of interest. To fill out the picture, the city should at the same time talk with the small number of young adults under the age of 35 who didn’t grow up here. While not the primary purpose of doing this research, doing it with that age group would convey our strong interest coming here to live and work.
What this program would do is benefit not only the city of Edina, it would benefit handicapped persons as well. How this program works is that handicapped people out and about in Edina would report their findings to the Edina city hall. Their findings would include such agendas as during the winter time, when there is too much snow and or ice covering the sidewalks, too much ice and or snow that prohibits the handicapped persons from traveling down the sidewalks easily, or potholes that prevent handicapped persons from moving about. The handicapped person(s) that want to be part of this program would have to register with the city of Edina prior to being able to be a part of this program. The members of this particular program would be issued cameras to be able to document their findings. If the city of Edina were not funded for offering cameras to the members of this program, then the members of this program would have to possess their own camera(s) for the documentation.
How about some feedback on this Grandview issue, which, no doubt, the majority of Edina residents are unaware: http://www.sd49gop.com/does_edina_s_grandview_development_need_tif
We should have an Edina Circulator bus, on the order of the intercampus buses at the U. It could have strategic pickup spots in the residential areas and go to all the popular retail and other public areas: community center, swimming pool, 50th and France, 44th and France, Bren Road and 169, Jerry's area, 70th St and Hazelton shops, 494 and France/Trader Joe's/Bobby & Steve's, Centennial Lakes/Whole Foods, 70th and Cahill businesses, 77th Street/Metro Boulevard, YMCA, LA Fitness, etc. Metro Transit seems to be a good system, but when you get away from Southdale, the bus service is more sporadic and focused on specific times of day and typical commuter direction. We could have a couple of routes that just keep circulating around and around Edina at all times. That would help hook people up with the Southdale transit hub and also would cut down on traffic and parking problems.
France Avenue traffic is forever snarled at Minnesota Drive and also at 78th Street.
I would think that dedicating the middle lane of France Avenue to access eastbound 494 could more evenly distribute the cars. This would ease up the traffic in the right lane to access Minnesota Drive and later 78th Street; leaving the remainder of the cars to have a dedicated access to westbound 494.
The issue starts in Edina and also is in Bloomington's territory. Perhaps it's all decisions made by Hennepin County, or maybe MnDot? All it really needs is to change the signage.
Through February 29, 2016, MnDOT is doing a congestion relief survey, seeking input and thoughts about how Interstate 494 and Highway 62 can be improved. You can submit your ideas here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/i494and62study
Boston and other cities and towns in Massachusetts, New York City and the state of Hawaii (reported in today's Star Tribune - http://www.startribune.com/boston-hikes-age-for-buying-cigarettes-to-21/362864891/) have approved a new approach to discourage youth smoking, by moving the age from 18-21. While only the state can enact a ban on consumption, we can get the ball rolling by passing an ordinance that bans sales of tobacco products to those under the age of 21. Tobacco use has no beneficial effects and and tobacco is a gateway to use of illegal drugs and binge drinking, with their additional health and legal consequences. By making this change, it suggests that alcohol and tobacco are adult products which young people should not be experimenting wth and getting addicted to. Someday, if and when recreational marijuana is legalized, then there will be no question that the age limit should also be age 21. Obviously, those businesses what make significant income by selling tobacco products to those between 18-20 may not like this idea, but the city could respond by creating a lower license fee for stores that voluntarily don't sell to those under the age of 21, until the time when it is passed into city ordinance. As we are part of a health alliance with Richfield and Bloomington, perhaps their city council could be encouraged to take a similar action. If three cities neighboring cities were to do so, it would encourage others to do the same. This kind of proactive policy is exactly what forward thinking cities do.
The City of Edina should push for Local, State & Federal funding for Re-Establishing commuter passenger rail service from 494 to the Wooddale SWLRT Station along the Dan Patch Rail Line. This connected with a street car system along 50th thru to Southwest Mpls and North South from 44th to Southdale will help local business compete with MOA and provide family safe commuter travel for all ages to key services throughout the City and Region