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I live less than two miles from the Rainbow grocery store at the West End, so I shop there frequently, and I think there are some serious traffic problems ahead getting in and out of that parking lot once the apartment block that looms on its east side is finished and occupied, and especially if more office development happens immediately east of that. Already it's bad: the dumpsters for the Noodles/Jimmy Johns/Verizon strip mall sit right at the Rainbow lot entrance, screened by a high fence that blocks view of the traffic heading around the corner to the lot, and many are traveling at a pretty good clip. Bad design, and it will only get worse--you wonder if any of the developers ever thought about this or if they just plunk something in and see how it goes.
So it seems development like West End can indeed spur a lot of other development. This is why governments do Tif financing and offer other breaks to businesses.
Chapter 203, HF 1722. "Construction of not more than six lanes of travel on Legislative Routes No. 10 and No. 107 marked TH12 (I-394) between 1-494 and the Hawthorne interchange (I-94) in the city of Minneapolis, provided that no additional lands shall be acquired for any such purpose except which is necessary for construction of six lanes of travel on said highway." A history lesson from laws passed in 1975 on why 394 is not more than 3 lanes in each direction.
If they did away with the private toll lanes and all of the uber-fancy entrance/exit ramps they could easily fit 4-5 lanes in each direction on I-394. Cleary, there just isn't the need quite yet. They did this on I-35W where I had no idea how they were going to find the space. And they plan on doing something similarly amazing by expanding I-494 to at least 4 lanes in each direction between Hwy. 169 and Hwy 77.
Someone should make the Chili's into a Tim Hortons along the 394 Frontage Rd.
"So it seems development like West End can indeed spur a lot of other development. This is why governments do Tif financing and offer other breaks to businesses."---Nearly all of the commercial office space along 394 existed before West End was developed. TIF had nothing to do with it.
They are doing a terrible job of roadway/traffic planning up there. i.e. The diveway from that new apartment building they are building dumps right out into the Rainbow parking lot. Even though I only live two miles from there I'm pretty sure I'm going to find a different grocery store. I think I will also be shopping at Chick and Don's and Menard's rather than PetSmart and Home Depot.
I've always thought those were nice buildings. Too bad you won't be able to see them when they get done up there....They were there before West End. The only way anyone would think West End was cool is if they read it in a trendy magazine.
hittodead - I don't think developers care how something turns out or traffic congestion, all they have to do is sell there design and let someone else worry if it works out. If they can get a few blurbs in a trendy magazine the wannabes will flock there until the next "cool" place they "develop" is featured in that same trendy magazine.
It's a nice place to hang out without having to deal with paid parking and high crime in downtown Mpls.
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