Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The very last year

2013 has been good to me. I started a new job, traveled to both coasts and abroad, wore funny costumes in funny parades, ran my first (Jr.) Bix, and bought our first honest-to-goodness, real-sized Christmas tree.

But since LRT construction is, like, so 2012, one thing I did not do much of was blogging. So here are my top transity moments of 2013, the year that will be remembered as the VERY LAST YEAR that I ever had to live without the Green Line. Thank. God.

New LRVs in the wild
The only thing better than seeing the new LRVs in service on the Blue Line was seeing the new LRVs putzing down University Avenue, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but always ridiculously surreal. Maybe the best part of this phase for me was that finally everybody on Facebook and Twitter was talking about LRT (not just transit weirdos...ahem).

At Government Center, downtown Minneapolis

In the yard, on my way to work.
Lookin' good, everybody!
At University & Chatsworth. 
Unfortunately, the bus doesn't stop so 
that I can take a decent photo.

Better Block
Although not on University Avenue, the Better Block event on East 7th was one of the most epic transit/bike/walk events of 2013, involved pretty much all my favorite people, and was powered (in part) by a large box of Trung Nam croissants.

That's Jessica, taping with great precision.

Damian and I defacing the street with spray chalk.

I painted that sign with the help of a small child!

New neighborhood cafe

Duct tape is so useful.

Closing the CCRC
The Central Corridor Resource Center in the old Lexington Library has been, over the past 7 years or so, the site of pretty much all melodrama, wacky and wonderful meetings (Charles Avenue...did that actually happen?), and too many heating and cooling hijinks to count. Every situation was made only more bananas by people randomly dropping books in the long-closed book return, window parts being stolen, or a car running into the building. The real question is, what on earth is going to happen to that scale model of University?

Does anybody have room for this?

Open Streets
Open Streets was the last big party before the next big party: opening day. Probably my favorite moment was when a woman handing out Green Line swag asked me if I "liked LRT" and pushed a neon bag into my hands. Play it cool...take the bag...jump for joy!

Maybe the first day ever that I wish I owned a bike.

Best Steak House kid working the crowd.

Do I want a bag? Um, yeah.

You and me both, buddy.

Twinkle Bus
Bucket list: Ride the Twinkle Bus. Check! I think putting this bad boy in service on Route 16 is well overdue.

Twinkle Bus training at the garage.
Yep, it works.

I think I had a dream like this once. 

Washington Avenue Reopens
Dinkytown is great. I mean, I used to complain that I needed to transfer to get there. But no offense Dinkytown, now that the three-year construction detour is over, I may never visit you again. Washington Avenue, which is almost unrecognizable with new development, reopened in December with buses sharing the light rail tracks. There are a few kinks to work out before LRT opens...the worst being that when we stop at Oak Street, the Jimmy John's guy runs on the bus and hands out sandwiches. I know people like free sammies, but you're killing our running time.

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