Monday, April 5, 2010

Critical Mass!

Here is the online form to report traffic issues to Hennepin County:

I suggest that everyone that has discussed a problem with CAU report those issues to the county in separate forms. This may be the most direct way to create a critical mass and support positive change for our cause. Make sure you print a screen capture if you think of it, just to keep track of what you have submitted. I would also suggest, like they do at Minneapolis311, that you report you issue every time you notice the problem. So don't worry about reporting it more than once.

And, I would suggest reporting it ALL.

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

National Speeding Crackdown Boost Budgets

This article is worth reading.

Of particular interest to me is the mention of 'Travel Safe' zones, where fines are doubled to promote safer driving practices. This would be worth looking into for our area.

Cedar could be a real jackpot for the city, which in turn could help the area!

Any input on the 'Travel Safe' zones??

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hello All! Some of you may have noticed a small addition to the repretoire of Cedar Ave Signage. I just wanted to post a bit from a letter I got from Councilmember Quincy yesterday.

Horay! :

Hi Will,

I wanted to alert you to the fact that our office has been working with county staff on signage on Cedar Avenue. As Scott Benson and I transitioned the office projects with my election, this project was one that made both of our lists of priorities.

We will continue to make efforts for improved signage and other speed calming techniques with the county and city street control operations – but we thought you should celebrate the fact that a solar powered “speed wagon sign” is now permanently installed on the north bound lane of Cedar – immediately after the highway entrance. It has been a long time coming, but another positive step forward in Cedar Avenue United’s agenda. Thanks for your diligence and grassroots efforts!

Here is a link to my newsletter archives, should you want to see what we are talking about:


John Quincy

City Council Member

Ward 11

Also wanted to remind everyone that This Next Week will be the next meeting of CAU. I'm still tying up some loose ends with out upcoming Boulevard Garden event. Once it's set up I will send out a lager mailing.

Good Things in the works! Come help us take the next step!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fantastic meeting last night. Only 4 folks, but very productive.

CAU will be presenting a Boulevard garden workshop in two sessions, classroom and on-site, this spring/early summer.

All green thumbs take note! I'll be trying to rustle up some resources in the following weeks.

ALSO: interested in creating an 'Adopt a Boulevard' partnership between Cedar Corridor businesses and residents. We did a bit of work with SENA, Great Streets and 42nd and Cedar businesses last summer. This would take it to a new level. Like adopt a highway, only more personal. We'll see what starts to take shape and talk about it more at the next meeting in March.

Stay tuned for the dates for the GARDENING WORKSHOPS. I should have those within the next week or so.

Until next time!

4500 Cedar

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Direction, Same Message?

Hello CAU,

Quick note here. At the last meeting there was discussion on the future activity of CAU. One of the major things I came away with is that we need to be more event focused. Fun and community building rather than all-out politics.

So I am proposing a new direction. We all had so much fun with our events this past year, so lets focus on that.

I have begun setting up a Boulevard Gardening demo, which could be followed by a contest etc. This is something that will be discussed at next weeks meeting.

It also follows that next year, perhaps a Christmas Light challenge. (no better way to draw attention to our awesome neighborhoods than by making them glow in the dark!)

Perhaps a CAU plant swap? There are a number of other orgs in the area that we could work with on this.

There are also a number of ways to include our businesses in this. Perhaps an Adopt a Blvd Garden?

This is just a start. There's so much more to discuss! I would like to continue with our Burma Shave Signs (as soon as the ground thaws!) AND the Pace Car idea. I think they will work well with our events.

So, let's become events based! Let's build our community up, Let's make this next summer a fun one!!


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1900 East 40th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407-2930

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Say what you will about snow. But snow is a fantastic sound absorber and natural traffic calming device. Nothing makes you slow down and pay attention like the risk of life and limb.

More please!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

signs - things to come?

In the past month or so there's been some conversation about LOW cost solutions to pedestrian issues. I've done a fairly extensive literature search on the most effective safety devices and found these:

Of all Blinky lights and neon painted cones, these are the most effective for slowing vehicles and improving pedestrian safety (see: Innovative Treatments at Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossing
Locations - Herman Huang, Charles Zegeer, Richard Nassi)

And HEY! at a couple hundred bucks a pop these are EASY to raise money for... OR perhaps concerned neighborhood groups could sponsor a few of these in trouble spots.

I've also read that these paired with curb bump-out are a very effective combo!

This might be the next big push, we'll see what research and opinion turns up. Feel free to comment here.

Got Data back from the city (Data with a capitol D!) about the traffic speed vs. time of day and found some interesting trends:
-Rush hour is just that, a rush. Well over 50% of the traffic using Cedar at that time are traveling in excess of 35mph, in a posted 30mph zone.
-The information, at first glance, indicates that it is the through traffic commuters that are doing the speeding (is that a surprise to anyone?). On my block from 6-7am there were 659 cars headed North, towards the city, while there were only 374 headed South, out of the neighborhood. Of the [commuter etc] vehicles headed North 55% are FAR over the speed limit (greater than 5mph, about 17% faster). Of the Southbound traffic, presumably neighborhood headed towards the highway, only 31% were over 35mph.
-the morning ratio shows about 2/3 of all vehicles are headed North
-in the evening it's about 50/50 although Southbound is slightly higher. Since the heaviest backups occur at night, it would be worth seeing if the additional vehicles are using other streets to go South.

Hey, that tells me something interesting. To ME it indicates that Neighborhood traffic acts more responsibly... Good for us! This is reassuring. But on the downside, generally at least 50% of all cars are moving far in excess of the speed limit during 'off times' (even at 3am) which contribute to a lot of problems; ped safety, noise etc. These numbers give no indication exactly how much over 35 the cars are traveling.

I think that this give us a better handle on where to focus. I think it's been pretty obvious to residents of Cedar. We all knew that commuter traffic was heavy, but I didn't realize HOW heavy... and the speeds of what I call neighborhood vs commuter are very interesting.

I'm working on getting these number to the local precincts in order to inform them of the best times to patrol... and which side.
Thanks go to Jim Grube at the county for sharing these numbers. I'll work on getting them up here so you can all see what I'm trying to describe.

So now is the big question, how do we slow down through traffic... those that don't live in our area and have no vested interest in the quality of life around Cedar? Any thoughts??