Downtown Riverfront - Mill Ruins Park - Waterworks

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
mamundsen
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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby mamundsen » October 27th, 2014, 4:06 pm

I used to live right there in the North Loop and I thought it opened up right around the 3rd Ave bridge. As I said it's not a big space. I don't think it will be as large of a draw as the kayaks and paddle boards on Calhoun.

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Re: Minneapolis Riverfront

Postby Gman12 » October 27th, 2014, 5:17 pm

mamundsen wrote:
Didier wrote:
mamundsen wrote:Nice video. Something new to me, the new Kayak launch. To me it is VERY close to the falls. How do they think that is safe? I did notice some separation... But I don't know. Seems scary.
It looks like the launch would be into the upper part of the lock, which is separated from the current.
Then if the kayaker paddles up stream they'll join the current and end up over the falls. Right? The lock is not a big space to paddle around.
Above the falls sports does kayak tours that go through the lock that I see from my balcony every weekend. The flow doesn't suck them over, as long as you stay on the right side of the river. Although with the lock closure the tours are no longer possible.

http://www.abovethefallssports.com/tour ... the-gorge/

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby MNdible » January 22nd, 2015, 12:23 pm

The Strib has an update on the closing of the locks, including a proposal from a shipper to use the UofM's barge dock.

acs
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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby acs » January 22nd, 2015, 4:08 pm

Mind if I hijack this thread? I was going to post this in anything goes under the title of "Industrial Land use in our Core Cities".

I see this as a symptom of a larger problem we're creating in our city, not a cause. That is, in our quest for more parks, housing, green space, density and livability we're willing to gut the industrial capacity of our cities. If you think that manufacturing and other industry is declining in the metro, or that space isn't needed anyways, think again http://finance-commerce.com/2015/01/sca ... klyn-park/. There's an explosion of new industrial space going on in the North and South Metro, way out on the fringes of development.

Meanwhile within the beltway, we have city planners practically telling industry "you're not welcome", especially in Minneapolis. The route of SWLRT west of Minneapolis is no accident, it goes straight through a large corridor of jobs, many (if not most) are in manufacturing and employ thousands of low skill workers. Yet, the cities of EP, Minnetonka, and SLP are pushing to re-zone and re develop these exact "underutilized" areas with higher density housing and retail. In Minneapolis, the talk about a new soccer stadium and "redevelopment" of the north loop has always implied demoing the existing industrial buildings and replacing them with, what else, high density residential. On the waterfront side, St. Paul's West Side flats master plan envisions re-zoning and redevelopment towards commercial and residential everything west of US-52, while lowertown and Lambert's landing is already transforming into a residential community. That's great if you like inner-city population growth and density (I do too!) but ignores the fact that the natural feature is the very reason St. Paul even exists and why St. Paul is still by far the largest river port in the state. Finally along the Minneapolis waterfront, The Mississippi Riverfront Partnership has successfully lobbied to close the St. Anthony locks, overtly because of the threat of of invasive species getting upstream (never mind the fact that they wouldn't make it past the coon rapids dam anyways), but really so they can push an upper river master plan that runs a park and trail along the river and through an industrial zone.

Now, I can live with the upper river master plan and closing the locks if it only shifts more traffic to St. Paul and not Savage or worse trucks. The way MSP developed naturally before government zoning was that St. Paul was the head of navigation and port while Minneapolis had hydro power. The upper river ports may have gone out of business anyways, but the government shouldn't be forcing it. On a larger scale though the trend is upsetting for a number of reasons. First, these industrial areas are the bedrock of our local economy. While we live in a post-industrial economy where the overall share of workers in these primary industries is declining, the multiplier effect of these wealth creating businesses is still quite high. In addition, these jobs are still some of the most accessible to minorities, poor people, and those without a college degree. Target doesn't exist without someone down the line bringing together raw materials and actually making something. These types of jobs are powerful agents of not only economic diversity, but also the racial and social class diversity which makes city living so appealing in the first place.

Secondly, if you get over the initial "ooh bike trails are awesome" then you realize this is a step backwards on the path towards a more modern and progressive transportation system. Looking at Europe, the continent we all like to admire as a model of efficiency and sustainability, you'll see that a whopping 40% of all freight is moved by short sea shipping (ie barges). The current federal administration has been actively promoting the idea here due to the potential to dramatically reduce congestion from trucks and emissions. There's even an "M-35" corridor along the lower Mississippi, being promoted as an alternative to I-35, but it doesn't include the upper Mississippi because our lock systems are too small, ill maintained, and we now have a penchant for closing them abruptly. When this takes off here, manufacturers in St. Louis will be able to load a container for export to the world virtually on their doorstep, with very little trucking involved. The same is possible in our core cities, if we don't turn our barge landings into bike paths.

The thing is, these city planners are fighting hundreds of years of economic wisdom here. There is a reason why those industries that built our cities located where they did and not in Brooklyn Park. That brought a ton of wealth and development not just to our core cities, but especially to the downtowns. The natural potential of our core cities to out-compete the suburbs is still there, despite the repeated efforts of city planners to make it go away. The states only two intermodal rail yards are in NE Minneapolis and Midtown St. Paul, while the port of St. Paul still imports and exports 5.2 million tons of wealth annually. The falls of st. Anthony still produce cheap, green electricity for the city. Yet the more we push re-zoning and redevelopment of these "blighted" areas along our current narrow vision of new urbanism, the more businesses will choose to build out on the fringes of sprawl in cities that are more than willing to build them new freeways for the trucks which become the only practical option for moving their goods and workers.

I guess this R*ant is a long-winded way of asking the community; is there a future for industry in our modern cities? Obviously I'd like to think so, but it would require us urbanists and city leaders to give up on some of the luxury amenities they are pursuing and embrace the "gritty" elements of our urban environment that make it unique.

As if on cue, here's a MPR news article: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/01/21 ... ck-and-dam

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby Elliot Altbaum » January 22nd, 2015, 4:43 pm

ASC: A great long r*ant that articulates my same feeling of loss when I hear about industrial space in the core cities. We need a long term plan to maintain manufacturing in the core. The amount of new industrial space quoted in the article is large, yet I would expect all of that space to be one level buildings. It would not be feasible in a core city. Is there a way to build denser manufacturing? Is the warehouse district not remnants of multilevel manufacturing from another century? What would it take to build like that again?

These kinds of projects feel like gentrification writ large. While there are lots of new studies showing gentrification of housing is not a large problem, gentrification of job locations probably is one.

One area of manufacturing that is growing in Minneapolis is beverage production. Thanks Surly! But realistically, I think food manufacturing might be something that will grow over time. I think we could produce most of the bread consumed in this city if we wanted to. Franklin Street Bakery is a current example. A regional soda company would also be pretty awesome.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby David Greene » January 22nd, 2015, 4:46 pm

acs wrote:The thing is, these city planners are fighting hundreds of years of economic wisdom here. There is a reason why those industries that built our cities located where they did and not in Brooklyn Park. That brought a ton of wealth and development not just to our core cities, but especially to the downtowns. The natural potential of our core cities to out-compete the suburbs is still there, despite the repeated efforts of city planners to make it go away. The states only two intermodal rail yards are in NE Minneapolis and Midtown St. Paul, while the port of St. Paul still imports and exports 5.2 million tons of wealth annually. The falls of st. Anthony still produce cheap, green electricity for the city. Yet the more we push re-zoning and redevelopment of these "blighted" areas along our current narrow vision of new urbanism, the more businesses will choose to build out on the fringes of sprawl in cities that are more than willing to build them new freeways for the trucks which become the only practical option for moving their goods and workers.
I get your larger point about industrial uses but economic wisdom 100 years ago was quite different from today. How much electricity does the falls produce? How much industry could it really power? What's it being used for today and who would have to give up their waterpower? The falls and waterpower have absolutely nothing to do with locks.

The fact is that businesses do not have to be near the river as they did 150 years ago. Railroads changed all that. Once the mechanical hydropower of the falls was eclipsed by electricity, that was the end of a real need to locate industry near the river. Generate electricity there, fine (as long as we don't lose Nicollet Island in the process) but there is zero need for industrial uses on the river. Today, the river is much better used for recreation. It makes sense to keep the St. Paul port open.

There is room for industry in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In fact there is still a ton of it. As far as I know there are no plans to remove all industry from the city. We should absolutely develop the more valuable land to better uses. I see no problem with locating industry along high-capacity transit corridors even if it's in the suburbs and yes, some of those uses should be redeveloped too. Hopkins is not going to lack industrial land uses even after development around SWLRT.

It's not the city competing with suburbs that I worry about. It's about more efficient land uses competing with subsidized poor land uses. We have both in city and suburb.
acs wrote:As if on cue, here's a MPR news article: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/01/21 ... ck-and-dam
This lock did not help build Minneapolis. It was never successful.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby MNdible » January 22nd, 2015, 4:49 pm

What is the job/acre that an aggregate facility produces, exactly? Or metal shredding?

I don't want to dismiss your point out of hand, but I think it's a question of land use intensity. Minneapolis does have land available for industry, and is promoting jobs and development in those locations, but it needs to be more jobs-intensive than some of the old industrial sites in the city achieved. Otherwise, it's just not worth it.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby Anondson » January 22nd, 2015, 5:00 pm

I believe Minneapolis can easily jettison polluting heavy industrial businesses (noise, toxins, ...) in the Port of Minneapolis just fine. A simple mixed use zone that allows residential and light industrial uses is far preferred.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby Didier » January 22nd, 2015, 8:02 pm

If that MPR story is the one I heard on the radio this morning, the takeaway was that the invasive species was more the "last straw" than the main reason for closing the lock.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby mattaudio » January 22nd, 2015, 9:20 pm

Yeah, St. Paul has worked much harder to retain industrial, subsidizing the heck out of low-density light industrial sprawl through the Port Authority. Not a model to follow.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby RailBaronYarr » January 23rd, 2015, 10:13 am

I'm not going to disagree that certain freight modes (rail, river) took a back seat to shipping by truck over the last 60 years for inland freight, more than probably would have occurred without the skewing that came with our road building. But, inland waterways represent more like 5% of freight (http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func ... Id=1910256) in the EU.

What we need is for light industrial uses in core urban areas & suburbs alike to be designed well enough to not blight nearby areas, present to the street at least somewhat reasonably, and have minimal nuisance effects (noise, dust, shipping vehicles). Lower land values out in the suburbs may actually make more sense for this, and assuring there's housing nearby (or, hey, these transit lines we're building out to the burbs) is as good a strategy as we should hope for. While most here probably won't think Houston is an urban paradise, they do apartments right next to industrial all the time thanks to no zoning and I'm guessing it works out pretty well for workers.

acs
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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby acs » June 9th, 2015, 9:44 pm

Pretty significant day, an end to an era.

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis- ... 306722181/

What gets me isn't the idea of closing the locks and cutting off navigation above the falls. It's the duplicity of claiming this anything to do with invasive carp. It doesn't take a genius to see this is just the MPB taking advantage of the situation and calling in a favor with their friends in the democratic party so they can kick every industry off the river and implement their above the falls master plan.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby mplsjaromir » June 9th, 2015, 9:49 pm

Lol, like the Park Board has any influence over congress.

acs
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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby acs » June 9th, 2015, 10:05 pm

And you believe the carp excuse why?? The coon rapids dam upstream was already impenetrable for the carp and there's no river that empties freely into the Mississippi between the dam and the falls. Meanwhile the park board and the city weren't exactly keen to include industries that use the river in the master plan they started working on well before the locks were approved to close...

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby Anondson » June 9th, 2015, 10:18 pm

Are we sure it was "impenetrable"? The invasive carp is a leaping fish and that dam looks like a rather low jump.

Regardless, I was long a fan of closing the dam without the excuse of the carp. The expense of running the locks never came close to being paid for by the users above the locks.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby mplsjaromir » June 10th, 2015, 12:39 am

What industries? A scrap metal yard and an aggregate distributor?

The locks were way under utilized. It was a nice idea but they never saw their potential. I'd rather see a stalwart against an invasive species over a handful of jobs. A carp invasion would jeopardize more tourism jobs than the locks will ever facilitate. The Corps are going to mothball the operation in case the professional ichthyologists are incorrect.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 10th, 2015, 7:36 am

He's got a point though -- this had nothing to do with Asian carp. What I don't understand is that by closing the locks are they going to eventually remove them? If so, wouldn't that make it EASIER for Asian Carp to penetrate new areas? Also, what if somebody, anybody, decides to be a dick and bring a few Asian Carp into the Mississippi River north of the metro just for kicks? That's all it would take to penetrate this so-called barrier, and that's just one of the ways it could happen.

Just admit that this is happening for a chance at economic redevelopment and area revival. I think that's the point ACS is making, and I agree. Meanwhile, it sounds like St. Paul's port will become a hot-bed once again. I'm a bit surprised that the locks most upriver in the Twin Cities aren't busier than they are. It seems like the places that penetrate the furthest inland are some of the busiest ports.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby mplsjaromir » June 10th, 2015, 7:59 am

The Army Corps of Engineers still own the locks and do not plan on removing the locks.

The insinuation that all of testimony from experts to close the locks to protect the Upper Mississippi is actually a conspiracy engineered by MPB is the idea I am in disagreement.

Certainly there are some who find it convenient. I don't disagree that prime river frontage should maybe used for something other than a handful of low value added business. If there was a major manufacturing plant or some high tech innovator utilizing barges, that would be another conversation. The cargo traffic generated did not justify the locks. If non-native species are the pretext to muscle out river orientated industrial uses, so be it.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby Viktor Vaughn » June 10th, 2015, 8:16 am

As someone who watched the Asian Carp issue being debated and pass through Congress, I can assure you this is primarily about carp. The potential for environmental devastation is huge and would affect economic activity over a very large area. Potential Minneapolis riverfront development is just not going to register.

Look into the efforts of Chicago to separate their canal system from the Great Lakes. One article I just found said they plan to spend $18 Billion to shore up their defenses to keep Asian Carp out of lake Michigan.

Of course the Minneapolis upper riverfront land is underutilized, it wasn't worth keeping the lock open anyway, and closing it may provide development opportunities, but in this case the tail is not wagging the dog.

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Re: Upper Mississippi -- No Locks For You

Postby gpete » June 10th, 2015, 8:24 am

min-chi-cbus wrote:He's got a point though -- this had nothing to do with Asian carp. What I don't understand is that by closing the locks are they going to eventually remove them? If so, wouldn't that make it EASIER for Asian Carp to penetrate new areas? Also, what if somebody, anybody, decides to be a dick and bring a few Asian Carp into the Mississippi River north of the metro just for kicks? That's all it would take to penetrate this so-called barrier, and that's just one of the ways it could happen.
This definitely has at least a *little* to do with Asian carp. There has been a legitimate effort to block Asian carp from traveling upstream in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota DNR was actively exploring a barrier at the Ford Dam prior to this proposal. And I know for a fact that Rep. McCollum was pushing for a barrier farther downstream because she doesn't want the carp in St Paul. Closing Upper St Anthony was the cheap way to block Asian carp. Cheaper and easier than an electric barrier or bubble barrier at the Ford Dam, and it wasn't difficult politically because of how little traffic goes through the Upper and Lower St Anthony locks.

Even if they someday remove the lock, there will still be a dam (St Anthony Falls) which will likely prevent Asian carp from going farther upstream. But you're right, there is ALWAYS a chance that some some idiot will transport Asian carp into a body of water; I don't think there's any way to completely prevent idiocy.


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