The end of dead ends?

Northfield ponders sacking cul-de-sacs

Usually when the New York Times wastes ink on little old us, it has to do with mentioning Eagan as the headquarters of Northwest Airlines.

But yesterday's Sunday Times has an interesting story on its national real estate page. It looks at the larger issue of subdivision development, and how two Minnesota towns are differing on what to do with that dread suburban development hallmark, the cul-de-sac. (The reporter, Carla Baranauckas, has lived in Minnesota.)

Northfield residents and city leaders, according to the story, are largely hoping for an end to the dead-end.

"In Northfield, a city of 17,000 about 45 miles south of Minneapolis, cul-de-sacs are more than out of fashion," the story reads. "'This city has tended toward not liking them,' said Dan Olson, the city planner."

Eagan residents, however, are not giving up their 650 cul-de-sacs without a fight:

"In 2004, residents of Wellington Way were dismayed when they learned that their flat-ended cul-de-sac would become a through street as the adjacent Diamond T Ranch, a horse ranch, is developed into a residential subdivision called Steeplechase of Eagan," sez the Times. "They petitioned the city to keep their cul-de-sac, but the Dakota County Plat Commission insisted that the cul-de-sac, which had been planned for a through street as far back as 1985, be extended."

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