Lake of the Isles Parkway bridges get resurfaced
Lake of the Isles Parkway’s bridges are getting a makeover, as their surfaces are being replaced with concrete to prepare for the 2009 repaving of the entire parkway.
According to a news release from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Kenilworth bridge, located on the west side of the lake, is scheduled to be closed through about Oct. 2. Only local traffic is able to use the parkway between Franklin Avenue and the bridge until that time.
The Calhoun Lagoon bridge, on the lake’s southeastern side, will be closed Oct. 6 through about Oct. 23. The parkway will be closed between 28th Street and Knox Avenue.
Neighbors expressed some concern at the Sept. 8 meeting of the Kenwood Isles Area Association about major arteries to their area getting temporarily cut off. Detours have been posted.
Sanja DeGarmo, an association board member, said her biggest worry was how her children’s school-bus routes would be affected. But she said the Park Board provided enough notice, and she’s happy pedestrian and bicycle paths remain open.
“You know, it’s an inconvenience,” DeGarmo said. “But I think now that it’s been explained that they need to do it now in order for the concrete to cure over the winter so that the rest of the parkway can be done, it makes perfect sense.”
Each bridge’s resurfacing costs about $20,000, covered by a grant from the Metropolitan Council regional parks fund.
For further details, go to www.minneapolisparks.org.
Park Board seeks operator for Lake Harriet Concession
The Park Board is looking for a tenant to carry on the Lake Harriet Concession beyond the end of this year, and they’re asking the community for input.
With the current contract for operations of the concession — located by the band shell — set to expire Dec. 31, the Park Board released a request for proposal in August.
It’s a fairly standard request, General Manager Don Siggelkow said. What is unusual, however, is that commissioners Tracy
Nordstrom and Bob Fine have been asked to appoint neighborhood residents to a panel that would help choose the appropriate operator.
Siggelkow said those steps are being taken to learn whether the community wants services from the concession that it currently isn’t receiving. For example, he said the Park Board is considering expanding non-concert-season hours to include early mornings.
“We’re basically trying to see if we can’t get out there to expand the business and do creative things,” Siggelkow said.
The request outlines several concepts the Park Board would like to see emphasized by the next operator, including maximizing income, being a unique venue oriented to the neighborhood and featuring an expanded menu while retaining favorites such as popcorn and ice cream.
The Lake Harriet Concession was built in 1986 and was operated by the Park Board until 2003. Steve Gillen has run the facility since winning a contract in 2004 and, Siggelkow said, has done exactly what was expected of him.
Siggelkow said he anticipates that Gillen will respond to the request for proposal. If he does, he would receive equal consideration, the general manager said.
Bike tour attracts thousands
The Minneapolis Bike Tour looks to have been another successful event.
Last year, the tour attracted about 4,700 riders, and organizers with the Park Board were set to top that number for the second go-around of the now-annual ride.
A week before the event, 2,500 people had signed up, compared with the 2,200 that last year registered in advance. Park Board spokeswoman Dawn Sommers said more than half of last year’s participants signed up on the morning of.
Organizers were hoping to have 6,000 participants this year. Final numbers weren’t available when this edition of the Southwest Journal went to press.
The tour was split into 14- and 37-mile trips around the city, during which motorized traffic was kept away from parkways and roads. The shorter trip traveled around the Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, while the longer one followed the entire Grand Rounds Byway System.
Run/walk raises money for Lake Harriet
EAST HARRIET — Speaking of fundraisers, People for Parks — another nonprofit that raises money to benefit Minneapolis’ green space — held its 5K run/walk for the Lake Harriet band shell on Sept. 7.
Felicity Britton, People for Parks secretary, said about 150 people participated, despite threatening weather. She said while hopes had been to attract 300, the event was still a good outreach tool.