Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dupont Residents Protest Street Paving

Paved roads: the curse of CARAG? An old photo, obviously (as in: pre-snowbanks), but just imagine what it looked like in 1915!

Did that headline catch your eye? Yes, I know I've fallen behind on posting, but I haven't fallen THAT far behind, "that far" being the year 1915. Still, given that the odds are slim to none that anyone reading this blog was around to remember the debate back the first time around, I thought it would be interesting to give it some second life in 2010.

Highlights from an article in the December 29, 1915 Minneapolis Journal ("Citizens Unite to Fight Dupont Paving"):

"Concerted opposition to the plan to pave Dupont Avenue from Lake Street to Thirty-Sixth Street South was voiced last night at a meeting of about a hundred residents of the Eighth Ward at the Calhoun Commercial Club. They oppose the plan on the ground that the paving of Dupont, which is strictly a residential street, would divert to it most of the traffic which now reaches the Lynnhurst district by way of Lyndale and Hennepin Avenue and parallel avenues, giving Dupont more traffic than should traverse it."

A committee was appointed to report back to the city.

Sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it? People were complaining about traffic one hundred years ago, and unless things dramatically change they'll still be complaining about it next century. The modern solution of paved roads and regular stop signs seems to work pretty well. I'm not concerned about traffic volume, but definitely don't like the speeders. For more recent Dupont history, the neighborhood fought to put in a stop sign at 34th and Dupont back in the late '70s and early '80s to cut down on the speeding problem. I only remember life post-stop sign, but I do recall a few years ago (2006? 2007?) when the city temporarily removed it. It is now, thank goodness, back in place, and traffic along Dupont moves along at a reasonable speed.

Hmm... do you think we'd be restoring "character" to the neighborhood if we ripped out all the pavement and replaced it with dirt? My son would LOVE it... (or we could just flood it, let it freeze, and strap on skates to get around. Now that's an idea I could get behind...)


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