Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Extreme Avenue

August, where the heck did you go? Between camping, weddings, lakes and pools, and food on a stick, I have seem to have taken an unintentional hiatus from blogging. I am back now - you have my full(ish) attention, construction.

I've been gone so long that a new sport has developed on University: construction mountain biking. I'd like to put it out there that this is a SERIOUSLY idiotic (and me thinks illegal) venture, but after seeing it in two locations on two different days, I can't help but wonder if it isn't already a thing.

The first guy I saw - an adult...a bike commuter no less - chose to enter his personal dirt track race as a detour to slowing down for traffic that was backed up at rush hour. When I saw him fly off of pavement and into the construction zone at full speed I almost jumped out of my bus seat. Obviously, he had done this before! Who rides into a construction zone at 30 miles per hour? Good grief!

And then on the way home today, more rascals - three teenage boys riding over hills of gravel at Midway. I have to admit, I did snicker when one sunk into a foot of loose dirt, and another got his bike caught in the construction tape. Hint hint, guys.

So here's my personal plea.

Dear University Avenue peeps,

I know we're a creative and hearty lot, and construction is beginning to seem, well, pedestrian (pun intended). But can we please express ourselves another way? Preferably one which allows us all to live long enough to actually ride this train. You know me...always drumming up ridership.


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Location:Simpson & university

Friday, August 12, 2011

OMFG and more

If you haven't been downtown lately, you might be a bit shocked to see tracks and train stations and such lying around all over the place. Here is a sneak peak from my lunch walk.

4th St looking west near Sibley - driving lane on right, guideway on the left!

And looking east at Sibley at the future platform area, tracks leading past the farmers market, the shell of the old Gillette building (being "reused" as an Operations and Maintenance Facility, or as we call it, the OMF. Or as I call it, the OMFG)

The front of the Union Depot, minus some front parts...

The new train deck for all our lovely regional and high speed lines.

And the in progress interior restoration, making our dormant train station into a (gasp) functional train station!

All this progress is exhausting! I need a nap.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All of the above

Time for some construction equipment trivia:

This gargantuan thingy is used for what important task?

a. Digging a hole to China (obviously located below Curfew Street)

b. Getting the last scrape of peanut butter out of the jar

c. Extracting dinosaur bones from a Mesozoic layer of University Avenue (Did dinos have parking problems too? And what can we learn from their grumpy bones?)

d. Making the road bed vibrate purely to irritate the U of M

e. It has no function - it's just there to make the whole scene look more "constructiony"

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