Neighborhood Traffic, Part 2

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The speed of traffic in our neighborhoods, where we and our families drive, walk and play, is a recurring topic of discussion, especially over the non-winter months when the roads are clear and neighbors and children are out walking or enjoying some fresh air in the front yard. It is certainly an issue that warrants consideration, and every situation is different in its own way. This post is the second of two on this topic (see blog post on 6/13/14), and will discuss possible courses of action if you feel there is a speeding problem in your neighborhood.

The suggested course of action is to get in touch with the City’s Transportation Operations Engineer (763.494.6364). Please be prepared to discuss specifics of what you have observed, including location where you feel the issue is at its worst. Generally, curves or hills in the road tend to slow traffic, but that is not always the case. Also, try to be realistic about how often you observe high speeds, or if there is a specific time of day that seems to be the “prime time”. One note: if you feel the violator is a specific individual, or if the traffic in question is a result of a single house or business, then the best course of action is to approach them directly to discuss in a non-accusatory manner. That will be, without doubt, the most effective deterrent. If you are uncomfortable doing so or have tried it without success, then a discussion with the Maple Grove police may be in order.

Once the City is alerted to the issue, we will perform a traffic count and speed study using our own personnel and equipment. Data is generally taken from midday Monday to midday Friday, but that can be adjusted if necessary. The City will be happy to share the results with you, and discuss the extent of the problem. Please refer to Part 1 of this blog series to prepare yourself for likely outcomes of the data.

So, let’s assume that we have done our research and we determine there is a speeding problem. What do we do next? Be honest: your first thought was, “Put in a stop sign.” Am I right? Unfortunately, this is almost always the request that accompanies a speeding problem. Let’s start by stating that stop signs are a form of intersection control, similar to a signal or roundabout. They are meant to control turn movements at intersections that have too many turns and through vehicles to operate safely. They are NOT speed control devices. In fact, many studies have shown that they often cause more dangerous driver activity, including higher speeds, than were occurring prior to install. Think about it: if a driver is willing to ignore posted speeds in the first place, are they going to come to a complete stop? They are more likely to slow down on approach to the stop sign to make sure there isn’t approaching traffic from the side (which there won’t be 90% of the time), then jam down the accelerator to quickly get back up to their high speed. Each time they approach the intersection, and don’t see any side street traffic, they curb their speed even less. Now we have created a situation where drivers from the side street have a right to expect that this vehicle will stop, and they don’t. Is the speeding driver in the wrong if an accident occurs? Yes. But the stop sign wasn’t about assigning blame, it was about improving safety, which we haven’t done. In fact, we very likely made it worse.

There are a handful of other, more effective, speed control devices at our disposal. I won’t promise that they will be fully effective, as any type of traffic control or traffic calming always relies on drivers to do their part. Police patrols are effective, but non-sustainable in terms of staffing enough police to monitor all the neighborhoods that have reported speeding problems.

We hope this series has been informative and helpful in terms of clearing up some unknowns about traffic speeds and means to address. The best way to have safe neighborhood streets is to drive the posted speed limit and be on alert for surprises like the opening of car doors or children darting into the street. That approach to driving will always, always be better than signs or police.

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Community Development News

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What’s going on in Community Development? As we say goodbye to winter and hello to free-spring-clipart-bannerspring, development traditionally begins to pick up. We see work continuing in spite of the snowy landscape on a number of http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dog-under-construction-image25649288projects including the senior residential community named SilverCreek on Main, the City’s new Central Park and the Skye at Arbor Lakes Apartment community. The second phase of the Skye project is anticipated to begin this Spring.

Here are a few new commercial developments/activities recently approved:apartment_clipart_7_k

• Skye at Arbor Lakes – Phase 2: This is a proposal to construct the second phase (208 units) apartment building that will bring a project total of 467 units.
• Red Rock Business Park – Phase 2: This is a proposal to develop the property into a 47,520 s.f. office/warehouse building.warehouse-building-isometric
Ordinances were recently adopted to allow brewery taprooms in Maple Grove.

Residential development will continue to grow and we will keep you apprised of new developments.

Also keep apprised of new retailers coming to town in this blog or on the City’s main web page!

A good resource to get information directly e-mailed to you about the different Residential and Commercial projects that are going forward to the Planning Commission and City Council is to E-Subscribe to our Agendas and Minutes. Our Agendas/Minutes are e-mailed out twice a month. Click here to sign up. There are other topics to sign-up for as well.

Dick Edwards, Community Development Director

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Captain Promotion

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At their February 2, 2015 meeting, council approved the promotion of Sgt. Adam Lindquist to the rank of Captain. Captain Lindquist was formally introduced at the February 17, 2015 council meeting. Congratulations!Capt Lindquist 026 Capt Lindquist 018 Capt Lindquist 016 Capt Lindquist 010

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eUtilityBilling

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eUtilityBilling is a convenient online service the City offers to its utility customers.

eUtilityBilling allows utility customers who sign up for this application to view their water consumption history, review electronic billing statements, and pay their utility bills online.

With access to this online service customers can compare their current quarterly water consumption to a similar quarter in the past 10 years. They can also compare their quarterly water consumption to the average usage of their neighborhood or the average usage of the entire city.

Customers can also sign up to receive their bills electronically, which allows them to view thier current bill and compare that bill to a previous quarter.

Over 5,600 (25% of our residential households) customers have already signed up for eUtilityBilling. Customers can go to the city website at www.maplegrovemn.gov and click on Utilities under the Services menu to begin the registration process.

If you have any utility billing questions you can always call (763) 494-6330 and a customer service representative will assist you.

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MAPLE GROVE COMMUNITY GYMNASIUM OPENING

The much anticipated completion and opening of the Maple Grove Community Gymnasiums at Maple Grove Junior High was accomplished with the first usage occurring on January 19, 2015. The Maple Grove Community Gymnasium Project is a joint venture involving the City of Maple Grove, Osseo Area Schools and the Osseo Maple Grove Basketball Association (OMGBA).

The Community Gymnasiums will provide value to all three organizations and meet community programming needs for residents of all ages. The facility will provide much needed practice and game space for OMGBA for its 2000 participants, additional opportunities/space for City sponsored Adult and Senior Exercise classes and Pickle ball programming along with enhanced practice space for Osseo School District athletic teams in the after school time frame.

GymnasiumThe addition includes three full size basketball game courts that will serve as 6 practice courts on practice nights and provide 9 pickle ball courts during pickle ball use. Multiple support amenities including an expanded parking lot, concession stand area with seating, additional restrooms and lobby space will provide a great facility for users of all ages. The project was also a recipient of a Hennepin County Youth Athletic Sports Grant, a program designed to provide county funds to aid in the development of local youth athletic projects.

For further information on the Community Gymnasiums, please call 763-494-6510

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Employment for the City of Maple Grove – Job Interest Cards

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Interested in working for the City of Maple Grove? Looking for a clerical, maintenance, law enforcement, or any other City position, but it’s not currently open? We have just the answer for your job search – Job Interest Cards. This page can be found in the Human Resources section where you may check a box for the category or position you are interested in, and when a new job is posted, you will receive an email notification. It’s as easy as a click of your mouse! Job Interest Cards are for a 12-month period, and you’ll even get a reminder email after 11 months to give you an opportunity to extend your notifications for another year. You can also change your selections at any time. What an easy way to be the first to find out when a job you’re interested in is posted!

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Finance News

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In December, Maple Grove bonded for various road construction projects in the City and has once again been assigned the AAA credit rating-the highest rating possible-when evaluated by Standard & Poors Ratings Service. Only 23 cities in the State of Minnesota have attained this rating.

Numerous factors go into the rating process including economic diversity, financial performance, debt burden, and financial management practices. The City’s ability to implement timely and sound financial and operational decisions in response to economic and fiscal demands is a primary determinant of changes in credit quality. A superlative credit rating like the AAA Maple Grove has achieved keeps the cost of financing capital projects as low as possible.

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Updated Burglary Information

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Burg update Burg update page 2

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Community Development News

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What’s going on in Community Development? As we say goodbye to what seemed like a short Fall and hello to Winter, we see work continuing in spite of the snowy landscape on a Winternumber of projects including the senior residential community named SilverCreek on Main and the City’s new Central Park. These will both be a http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dog-under-construction-image25649288fine addition to our town. The new Skye at Arbor Lakes Apartment community continues to expand. Work is nearly complete on the Freddies Frozen Custard and Steakburgers with an opening occurring fairly soon!

The arrival of winter signals many new commercial development opportunities as we pull farther away from the recent economic downturn. Here are a few new commercial developments currently being considered or recently approved:

retail• Maple Grove Retail: This is a proposal to construct a 12,200 s.f. retail/restaurant building in place of the former Houlihan’s restaurant.
school• Radiant Montessori School: This is a proposal to develop the property into an 8,800 s.f. Montessori School at Upland Lane/95th Avenue.
car wash• Youngstedts Car Wash: This is a proposal to develop the property into a full service tunnel car wash, located near Menards on 96th Avenue.

Residential development continues to grow. Below is a new residential development coming to Maple Grove:

house• Four Seasons at Rush Creek 6th Addition: 17 Single-Family detached residential lots.

Keep apprised of new retailers coming to town in this blog or on the City’s main web page!

A good resource to get information directly e-mailed to you about the different Residential and Commercial projects that are going forward to the Planning Commission and City Council is to E-Subscribe to our Agendas and Minutes. Our Agendas/Minutes are e-mailed out twice a month. Click here to sign up. There are other topics to sign-up for as well.

Dick Edwards, Community Development Director

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Residential Burglaries

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Capture

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