Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Day. Maybe.

The last "official" day of the LRT construction season has arrived. I wish I knew what that meant. Here's a video update of how it's looking out there this morning.

Raymond, looking pretty finished with its embedded track.

Fairview, squarely in the "we didn't get rail put in this season" club.

And Snelling...looking...kinda rough.

This doesn't so much look like the last day of construction. Seems like I'll have plenty to report over the winter months...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Outta here

The final days of the construction season have seemed to have turned into a free for all - orange barrels everywhere. I kicked one in the Spruce intersection and I tromped through, disgusted about the combination of the slushy sidewalks and the lame Snelling/University bus transfer (hint: it's not at Snelling or University). So I'm out. Time for me to take my pumpkin bread and head south for the holiday. Hope it's done when I get back!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

[Note: this post was temporarily lost in the blogspot ether when my app crashed last week. Sorry it took a week to get from drafting to publishing!]

Location:Snelling & University

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reality check

As it turns out, this is Minnesota in November. I guess it had to start sometime...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Signage overhaul, please

I stopped by Axman tonight to search for some holiday craft supplies. And I suddenly realized that LRT construction could be much improved by paying the Axman staff to take charge of all traffic and pedestrian signage. These people really excel at telling you exactly what you need to know about any situation.

In case you've never been to Axman (although it blows my mind that people haven't found the time in the last 50 years to visit), this store is a purveyor of everything you may or may not ever need. As they say on their website FAQ:

Q: Do you have one of these?
A: Yes, probably. I think so...You should come in and look around to see for sure. Despite our vast collection of oddities and merchandise, the law of probability tells us that we probably don't have exactly what you're looking for, but we probably have something close, maybe even better than you'd imagined!

Couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, this is pretty much the conversation I have with the staff every time I go in there. For whatever reason, I seem to need oddities often. Tonight I was on a hunt for small jar-like things (must have lids), pricing stickers for our holiday craft sale, and badge lanyards that I could rearrange into more interesting badge lanyards. What I wasn't looking for - but desperately needed upon discovery - was masking tape in every color. 75 cents a roll? Get out. I love a deal.

But the best part about Axman is the signs. You should really go there periodically just to walk around and catch up on all the signs.

The rewarding part about this one is that the bucket was too high on the shelf for me to see in. So I read the whole sign before looking.

This is a classic. See how they explain to me exactly how to use a tiny bike chain? Clarity from confusion. We need this in the construction zone.

Love the handwriting on this one. Must have more traffic signage in cursive.

A huge cop-out. So lazy it made me giggle.

Clearly there is way too much talent being hoarded by this one establishment. At the very least, they could come outside and cover everything in reflective tape and thousands of red bicycle blinky lights. Night work is not nearly blinky enough.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ding! Round 2.

I used to have an Irish dancing t-shirt (oh yes) that said, "Luck is real, and the harder you work, the more luck you have." I'm pretty sure that doesn't apply to building giant construction projects. No. This is what they call "dumb luck."

I mean, if you absolutely had to be working in construction - in November - in Minnesota, this is about the best weather you could ever have. So after a fairly pathetic effort on the part of precipitation, Round 2 of this not-so-epic battle between Mother Nature and Construction goes to Walsh Construction. You got lucky, guys.

And while things on the west end have gotten blissfully sleepy as of late, today I was happy to see some new walls being installed on the back of the station platforms at Westgate.

The weather is so good, we've moved on to decorating!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best and Worst of the Week

November has made me feel lazy on the blog front, like if I just hibernate a little, Thanksgiving will come sooner.

So in the spirit of clip shows and other tactics of non-writing, I give you best and worst of the week.

Best: New bus shelter at Raymond and University.

It was like someone at Metro Transit heard that it was predicted to rain/snow/slush today and ran out to throw up this shelter at Raymond. It is so new that there were still lots of little metal shavings on the sidewalk from its installation. I am sad to admit it's winter, but happy to have something to cover my head.

Worst: Where the Sidewalk Ends.

That is to say, these days the sidewalk ends just about everywhere you are trying to go. I like new sidewalks (A LOT), but I reserve the right to be annoyed that I can't get a little detour action while they are being installed. ADA? Nobody? Ok, maybe I'm just high maintenance. But I think this poor guy across the street agrees with me. Btw, this whole scene gets waaaay more fun in the dark (5 pm) when people can't tell that the sidewalk is missing. It's like the X-Games. Only nobody wants to play.

Best: The (temporary) pedestrian bridge at Hampden.

I feel like the crews may have built this specifically for me to take these two photos from the middle of the guideway. So I did.

Worst: Gotcha, you're surrounded by orange tape.

Thanks, construction guys, for telling me that this sidewalk was closed/non-existent as I walked past 20 of you in this block. I love climbing through dusty construction tape in work clothes.

Best of the Best: My sister got a goldendoodle puppy this week. I mean, we're not going to do any better than that, people.

Worst of the Worst: Bus Driver got told.

You know how driving a bus is like, all sunshine and fatty benefits? No? Oh. Well, this guy apparently felt the need take out his road rage on this poor bus driver anyway. He got out of his car at a red light to walk back to yell at him, for...who knows what. All I know is that the bus driver is a better person than me - seems pretty tempting to just run this guy over. Way to keep your cool, Bus Driver Man. As for you, Mr. Yells-A-Lot, way to keep it classy. Why don't you scurry back to your car before I come chew you out for parking in a crosswalk?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sky miles

Back in April or so, when we were ditching our jackets and soaking in fresh spring air, the old Bremer Bank building was demolished along with the skyway connection inside it. Making room for an LRT station on the footprint, crews constructed an "interim" skyway above. That hamster opened today - right on schedule I might add. Official par-tay and use of giant scissors on ceremonial ribbon to follow tomorrow.

Very airport chic, no? Perhaps I will start referring to this as Terminal 3.

Also, a quick pet peeve of the day: my bus driver insists on picking up and reading a section of the newspaper at every red light. The obituaries! Nothing like driving around 40 people without seat belts while reading about death. No, that's not troubling at all. Dear Strib, please write an article on distracted driving.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:High above 5th Street