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Reminder: Old Town Neighborhood Observational Walk

The Next Observational Walk


Tomorrow, January 27th at 4:30-pm is the next observational walk. We will meet at Cass St. and 8th to walk the length of Cass St. to 14th and then return north on Union St. The purpose of the walk is to experience the place at the human scale and see how it serves people.  Please, RSVP online or show up at 4:30 at Cass & 8th on Thursday.

Plug in where you can. Drinks likely to follow.


We had two community walks in 2010: Division St. and State St. (downtown). I thought I had written up the observations from the State St. walk, but a quick search of the website didn’t find it, so I think it slipped past me. My apologies. When I find the notes I will follow-up. The main observations confirmed a lot of Peter Spaulding’s description when he wrote about a State St. conversion back to a two-way street. It was also interesting to hear the history of the road and the progress it has made! From the sounds of it used to look something like US-31 south of Meijers: car lots and gas stations.

A version of a countdown signal.

Observations from the Division St. were published and were also used to suggest improvements for as early as 2011. According to MDOT, the suggestion made during the walk for installing pedestrian countdown signals was pursued and funds found to make that happen. That’s a good thing. There were other suggestions that came out of that walk that need supporters.

I’m looking forward to meeting new people tomorrow and going for a walk. Last week I walked my beagles to the vet south of 14th street…um, it wasn’t pretty.


Your Comments Matter

Comments: we welcome your comments, please don’t be shy. The more questions, perspectives and general participation we have here the better. What’s on your mind?

  1. Tim W.
    January 26, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I had to leave the Division St. meeting early yesterday. Prior to leaving I heard that MDOT will not consider roundabouts an improvement to division unless Division can handle more cars & trucks. If it is not an “improvement,” isn’t the project unlikely to ever go forward?

    What about those of us that think there are about 10 items higher on the priority list for making “improvements” to Division.

  2. January 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I’m not certain I heard it quite as definitively, but yes, that is the norm out of transportation agencies. Luckily, the option of increasing capacity at the intersections is likely not palatable to the community. One of the alternatives to a roundabout at 14th St. was 6 lanes on at the intersection on 14th St. This is objectionable on too many levels for me to take it seriously. Walkable communities bend over backwards to limite people from crossing more than 2 lanes at a time–let alone 6. The thought that someone would have to cross 6 lanes to go from the bank to Tom’s is absurd.

    So, the fact remains that the intersection is already at capacity and levels of service we tolerate need to be adjusted because we can’t build our way out of the congestion…inject behavioral change and different land use policy here, please.

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