The Peeve O' Matic Archive

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Plus O' The Day: December 21, 2011

Christmas Tree Sidewalk Sales
Christmas trees for sale in lowertown St Paul.

One of the best things about this time of year is when certain urban sidewalks fill with spruce trees. All of a sudden the parking lot at the St Paul farmers market seems like a forest, smells wonderful, and manifests a mysterious magical quality. Pick up a tree while you walk your dog!

Peeve O' The Day: December 19, 2011

Second stories that aren't really second stories
The CVS Pharmacy building at the corner of Snelling and University

Continuing with the theme of fake urbanism, two story buildings that aren't really two story buildings are a pet peeve. I suppose its better than nothing, but when cities try to cultivate density they should really actually do it.

Peeve O' The Day: December 13, 2011

Windows that aren't really Windows
A non-window window in St Paul's North End.

Just like doors that don't open, windows that you cannot see through provide an irksome twist to contemporary elements to add walkability and vitality to the street level. Despite cities starting toc are about the street-level environment, by passing transparency requirements for new developments, sometimes retailers (particularly chain pharmacies and big box stores) will simply make opaque glass windows that serve strictly symbolic purposes.

It's frustrating!

Peeve O' The Day: December 9, 2011

Doors that aren't really doors
A non-entrace to the Westin Hotel in Downtown Minneapolis on Marquette Avenue.

As businessess have expanded to occupy the footprint of multiple older establishments, some entrances and doorways get left behind in the wayside. Walking down certain of these 'megablock' streets in downtown Minneapolis, paticularly around Marquette and 2nd Avenues, you find a few entrances that aren't in use.

It's frustrating that so much of the street frontage downtown lacks vitality and pedestrian traffic. Fake doorways are one of the consequences.

Plus O' The Day: December 8, 2011

Icicles
Icicles hanging from an eave

I was sitting on the corner in front of this house in morning sunlight the other day and enjoying the icicles. They catch the light very nicely.

And then one of them crashed against the ground and made a lovely tinkling sounds. Ice in its many forms is one of the nice things about walking around the city in the wintertime, as long as you don't have to walk on it!

Plus O' The Day: December 7, 2011

Horse Police
Two St Paul Mounted Police riding down Selby Avenue.

Unless you're a protestor, horse police are wonderful. They certainly make an impression, calming traffic and brightening people's day. I occasionally see the St Paul Mounted Police getting some exercise by riding around the city. Monday night was one of those times!

Peeve O' The Day: November 21, 2011

Icy Bike Lanes
Ice and slush in the bike lane along Summit Avenue

I believe in my heart, deep down, that is possible somehow, using modern technology, to figure out a way to clear bike lanes along at least one of the routes through the city.

In the meantime, I'll just ride my bicycle directly in front of cars.

Plus O' The Day: November 2, 2011

Bike sharrows on Washington Avenue
The Washington Avenue parking / bus / bike lane.

They've striped sharrows along Washington Avenue, which is really nice if you're trying to through downtown quickly.

Plus O' The Day: October 28, 2011

Re-painting faded bike lanes
Re-painting the bike lane at Summit and Dale in St Paul

I'm not sure why they're doing it right *before* the harsh winter season, but I'm glad they're doing it. (Especially at busy intersections!) 

Plus O' The Day: October 10, 2011

Acoustically Enhanced Sidewalks
A couple making a lovely crunching noise walking down a St Paul sidewalk.

For Your Information: This time of year, your strolls may become more musical as leaves crunch and rustle underfoot.