Como neighborhood's Talmage Crossing Garden is on Talmage Ave. at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad crossing between 20th and 21st Avenues SE.
Talmage Avenue is a quiet residential street, attractive to walkers, joggers, stroller pushers, and bikers. Trees arch across the street offering welcome shade in the summer. Winter and summer, Talmage is a street for people, free of rushing commuter cars, roaring buses, and commercial trucks.
Several years ago the railroad expressed concern about traffic crossing the tracks and suggested that closing Talmage at the crossing would be saferfor residents. Residents successfully argued that the avenue is needed to preserve the human scale and neighborly pace of Talmage. The Minneapolis planners decided to build traffic-calming median dividers in response to BNSF's concerns about the crossing, and, as a bonus for neighbors, to build the dividers as planters, so that neighbors could have a small place for flowers at this otherwise undeveloped crossing.
Unfortunately, there was a long time between decision and building. During that time, in the triangle to the south of the crossing, weeds took over, growing up to 6 feet tall, blocking the sidewalk. Finally, Lila Smith called for neighbors to help attack this eyesore. With a lot of help from Stephanie Hankerson of Como Greenvillage, concerned neighbors, helpful City Council members and many others, weeds were cut down, dug up, hauled away. Woodchips were laid down. The Park Board planted new trees on the boulevard. On a bright fall day, neighbors planted spring bulbs in our new street medians.
We're ready for 2010 and beyond!