Join us for the Highway 61 Revisited Meeting on Feb. 24th

We hope that you will be able to join us for this last meeting of Highway 61 Revisited. The community involvement and input throughout this process has been stellar; help us continue that to the end! As usual, there will be a light meal provided and free childcare available at the Cook County Community YMCA.

Highway 61 Meeting 3

Free childcare will be available to the families attending the meeting (ages 4 months to 5th grade). Drop-off at the YMCA starts at 5:30, with pick-up by 8:30. Parents are also welcome to bring their children with them if they prefer. Questions? Email movingmatters@boreal.org or call 218-387-2330 x110.

A Review of 2014: from Great Places to Highway 61

Cook County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jim Boyd, and Local Artist, Betsy Bowen, at Como Oil & Propane's 2014 Great Place

Cook County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jim Boyd, and Local Artist, Betsy Bowen, at Como Oil & Propane’s 2014 Great Place

Looking back over this past year, 2014 has brought a lot of firsts for the Moving Matters project and our communities. Two of these firsts (and most popular on our website) were the Great Place Race and the start of the Highway 61 Redesign (Highway 61 Revisited).

In 2015, the Great Place Race will be reborn as the Great Place Project. This joint initiative with the Cook County Chamber of Commerce will continue to give small grants to spur the creation of more great places in Cook County and Grand Portage. Stay tuned for the 2015 Great Place Project application! Wondering what Great Places were created in 2014? Check them out here.

The Highway 61 Revisited process will continue in the new year, with the third public meeting on Tuesday, February 24th. Our community has come out in full force for these conversations about this vital corridor through Grand Marais. To complement this process, a Health Impact Assessment is also underway looking at the potential health impacts of this project on our community.

Check out the top posts and pages of 2014:
Highway 61 Revisited
The Great Place Race
Kick-off of Highway 61 Revisited: Share your input today!
Active Living Policy
Highway 61 Revisited: Help Redesign Highway 61
Pop-up Sidewalk with the City of Grand Marais

What do you want to see in 2015?

The 8 to 80 Rule

crossing

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hear international speaker, Gil Penalosa, speak in Duluth. Gil Penalosa is the executive director of the Toronto-based organization “8-80 Cities,” and is passionate about cities for all people. Throughout his compelling hour-long presentation, Penalosa spoke of a simple concept: cities and communities that work for our children (8 year olds) and our seniors (80 year olds). 8 - 80 Cities

So what does Penalosa’s “8 to 80 Rule” tell us about Highway 61 in Grand Marais? The 8 to 80 rule is simple:

  1. Think of an older adult.
  2. Think of a child.
  3. Would you send them out together for a walk to the park?

If you would, it is safe enough. If you wouldn’t, it needs to be improved. Let’s apply this to Highway 61 in Grand Marais. Would you send your loved one, an older adult or a child, across Highway 61?

This week I explored this question with elders and children in our community. I shared lunch with a group of eight 5th-7th graders at Great Expectations School. When asked about any problems they have encountered on 61 in Grand Marais, the group yelled out a cacophony:

Cars don’t stop!

One young woman followed up:

You pretty much have to make a gesture like stepping out in the road before you try to cross. Even in the crosswalks, cars don’t stop.

The group consensus was that many families have the rule that children have to be 11 years old before they can cross 61 alone, and children are encouraged to cross only at certain locations. So in regards to the 8 to 80 Rule, something needs to improve for safe crossing of 61.

Frankie Jarchow, a representative of the elderly on the Active Living Steering Committee, met with fellow bridge players to gather feedback about the unique concerns and ideas of active seniors. Frankie shared comments from 9 seniors in their 60-80’s. Several comments addressed issues facing the Highway 61 corridor for seniors or the disabled:

Not shoveled sidewalks, crossing the busy highway, very difficult and dangerous to cross the road, crossing the street at Highway 61 can be dangerous either by car or foot.

It turns out that the children and seniors we spoke with this week agree that the 8 to 8o Rule tells us we need to make improvements for safe crossing of Highway 61 in Grand Marais. Does this surprise anyone? I don’t think so. Safe crossings have been one of the most agreed upon concerns in the Highway 61 redesign process. As we dream and plan about a redesign of Highway 61, or any new projects within our communities, let’s make sure that the proposed solutions create a space that works for our 8 to 80 year olds.

Moving Matters Is A Home-Grown, County-Wide Project Of The Sawtooth Mountain Clinic And Many Local Partners. We Strive To Create Safe And Accessible Walking And Biking Routes For People Of All Ages And Abilities.

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