UND Fan

Grand Forks Economy

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It seems like some here were born yesterday: "I can't believe all the construction." It's called a city, they grow over time. Fifty years ago gf had a population of 35,000.

 

And 15 years ago gf had a population of 35,000......

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Never, never, never, never be upset when developers are willing to build residences in a community. 

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And 15 years ago gf had a population of 35,000......

1960 34,451   28.4% 1970 39,008   13.2% 1980 43,765   12.2% 1990 49,425   12.9% 2000 49,321   −0.2% 2010 52,838   7.1% Est. 2013 54,932   4.0%

 

If it wasn't for the flood (the reason the 2000 census saw a decline) Grand Forks would be closer to 60,000

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1960 34,451   28.4% 1970 39,008   13.2% 1980 43,765   12.2% 1990 49,425   12.9% 2000 49,321   −0.2% 2010 52,838   7.1% Est. 2013 54,932   4.0%

 

If it wasn't for the flood (the reason the 2000 census saw a decline) Grand Forks would be closer to 60,000

 

Shows me for not bothering to look it up.  I thought the flood dropped GF more than that.

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Shows me for not bothering to look it up.  I thought the flood dropped GF more than that.

That 35,000 number was being thrown around during the pessimistic post-flood period, which lasted several years.  I don't believe it was ever that bad.  It is so good to see us moving up instead of down.

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Never, never, never, never be upset when developers are willing to build residences in a community. 

 

There is a little bit of NIMBY going on here, though.  Some of the bigger places are imposing if not cookie-cutter eyesores.

 

Also, the concentration of most of these high-density complexes on the south side is only going to put more pressure on the N-S arterials sooner than single-family development, and neither Columbia nor Washington is going to be widened any time soon.  In fact, I don't think they will have the short strip of Columbia by Altru done for a couple more years.

 

Growth is usually good; smart growth is always better.

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People of Grand Forks: what you are currently seeing is something other places call reasonable growth. What you saw before was stagnancy.

I wouldn't quite call an average of $120 million a year in new construction for the last decade stagnancy.

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There is a little bit of NIMBY going on here, though. Some of the bigger places are imposing if not cookie-cutter eyesores.

Also, the concentration of most of these high-density complexes on the south side is only going to put more pressure on the N-S arterials sooner than single-family development, and neither Columbia nor Washington is going to be widened any time soon. In fact, I don't think they will have the short strip of Columbia by Altru done for a couple more years.

Growth is usually good; smart growth is always better.

Are you suggesting gf reject some of these permits?

The laybout of roads in gf is pretty ridiculous. Only 2.5 "4lane" north south roads... And 3 4lane east west with only one south of half the city where all the new construction is taking place. Gf doesn't seem to ever be ahead on these things..why isn't Columbia road south of 32nd 4 lanes yet to kings walk (along with 42 all the way to furniture row and beyond)? That new stop sign by the dentist office in the mornings has a mile long wait. The road by south middle school is becoming a major corridor and needs to be 4 lanes and if not that one the one just to the north of it that runs by Marcos pizza to that new dentist office.

The long way to really solve these problems is building West Grand Forks over the interstate on 32nd, but I don't see that happening. Too much of a mental block I guess.

Took the city how many years to finally connect the industrial park road.

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Are you suggesting gf reject some of these permits?

The laybout of roads in gf is pretty ridiculous. Only 2.5 "4lane" north south roads... And 3 4lane east west with only one south of half the city where all the new construction is taking place. Gf doesn't seem to ever be ahead on these things..why isn't Columbia road south of 32nd 4 lanes yet to kings walk (along with 42 all the way to furniture row and beyond)? That new stop sign by the dentist office in the mornings has a mile long wait. The road by south middle school is becoming a major corridor and needs to be 4 lanes and if not that one the one just to the north of it that runs by Marcos pizza to that new dentist office.

Grand Forks is experiencing more, faster growth than it is used to.  Which means infrastructure is falling behind.  Infrastructure always lags behind growth.  Look at Minneapolis-St. Paul; they are always behind the curve when it comes to upgrading interchanges and widening their freeways.  Fargo is experiencing the same phenomenon.

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Actually I don't fully agree with that. Fargo has streets with two turning lanes where there is growth but one is blocked off because it isn't needed yet just waiting ready to go. Driving through south fargo they also have roundabouts and roads constructed in the "middle of no where" that are barely used with the connecting lanes already built just waiting to be developed. It almost seems they build the roads sometimes then wait for it to get developed because you know sooner or later it will fill in.

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Grand Forks is experiencing more, faster growth than it is used to. Which means infrastructure is falling behind. Infrastructure always lags behind growth. Look at Minneapolis-St. Paul; they are always behind the curve when it comes to upgrading interchanges and widening their freeways. Fargo is experiencing the same phenomenon.

I'm surprised they haven't connected the two 20th streets, if they had more N-S roads especially 20th St it would help reduce traffic on Washington and Columbia. All they would need is a bridge over the railroad tracks. But then you have the opposition of residents for more traffic (I am sure my parents would object to it).

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I'm surprised they haven't connected the two 20th streets, if they had more N-S roads especially 20th St it would help reduce traffic on Washington and Columbia. All they would need is a bridge over the railroad tracks. But then you have the opposition of residents for more traffic (I am sure my parents would object to it).

This is the problem with a lot of things.  We need a south-end bridge.....but people complain and it doesn't happen.  We need another N-S artery.....but people will complain and it won't happen.  It is time our elected officials tell the NIMBY crowd that they don't have the right to make these decisions for everyone else and just do what needs to be done.  Stop thinking about re-election once in a while.

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There's one pet peeve I've always had about GF and that is the lack of "Right Turn" lanes on the major roads.  For example, you're cruising down 42nd, Columbia, or Washington St at 35-40 mph and have to slam on the brakes due to someone turning making a right turn.  Is it a conscientious move on the part of the city to not put these in as form of speed control?  Or do they just not see the need for them? 

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Actually I don't fully agree with that. Fargo has streets with two turning lanes where there is growth but one is blocked off because it isn't needed yet just waiting ready to go. Driving through south fargo they also have roundabouts and roads constructed in the "middle of no where" that are barely used with the connecting lanes already built just waiting to be developed. It almost seems they build the roads sometimes then wait for it to get developed because you know sooner or later it will fill in.

 

That is only recent.  There are other areas where Fargo is tearing up recently build roads that are still in great condition to add additional lanes or the roundabouts you mention above.  It may appear that they have built these and than the growth caught up to them but it still is the other way around.

 

I live in south Fargo so I am speaking from experience both with the actual construction and the additional specials being added to my property. 

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Outside of an expansion of 42nd St to 4 lanes all the way from Gateway to 32nd Ave, I don't see any problems with most of the roads in Grand Forks.  The grid is actually set up quite well and outside of construction season it's easy to get around.  If you want to see poorly planned city streets, visit Bismarck or even worse.... Minot.  To be fair, Minot couldn't really have foreseen what has happened to it in the last 5 years.

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That is only recent. There are other areas where Fargo is tearing up recently build roads that are still in great condition to add additional lanes or the roundabouts you mention above. It may appear that they have built these and than the growth caught up to them but it still is the other way around.

I live in south Fargo so I am speaking from experience both with the actual construction and the additional specials being added to my property.

I am in North Fargo and experiencing the worst construction this area has seen (19th Ave from 18th st to 10th st), it sucks and there will be more next year. I just hope they leave I-29 alone!!!

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This is the problem with a lot of things.  We need a south-end bridge.....but people complain and it doesn't happen.  We need another N-S artery.....but people will complain and it won't happen.  It is time our elected officials tell the NIMBY crowd that they don't have the right to make these decisions for everyone else and just do what needs to be done.  Stop thinking about re-election once in a while.

I think that's where the city needs to get ahead of things. If you dont turn these streets into major corridors and keep them two lanes, they eventually become residential neighborhoods with tons of traffic. Such as 17th ave south, Belmont road, 24th avenue south (subway/caribou intersection to Columbia road), and your currently seeing it on ruemmele road behind target connecting 42nd to Columbia road, tons of traffic going by that park because the city hasn't build connecting roads around it yet.

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There's one pet peeve I've always had about GF and that is the lack of "Right Turn" lanes on the major roads.  For example, you're cruising down 42nd, Columbia, or Washington St at 35-40 mph and have to slam on the brakes due to someone turning making a right turn.  Is it a conscientious move on the part of the city to not put these in as form of speed control?  Or do they just not see the need for them?

Agree. That's why it doesn't ever make any sense to drive in the right lane.

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That is only recent.  There are other areas where Fargo is tearing up recently build roads that are still in great condition to add additional lanes or the roundabouts you mention above.  It may appear that they have built these and than the growth caught up to them but it still is the other way around.

 

I live in south Fargo so I am speaking from experience both with the actual construction and the additional specials being added to my property.

Recently is better than never I suppose. And since Grand Forks doesn't have the rapid growth Fargo does you'd think it be easier to keep up. Fargo has a lot more areas of growth while grand forks basically had a pretty small area to develop. South of 32nd from the interstate to Washington.

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Grand Forks has a pretty good grid set up, though the lack of right turn lanes can be an issue if you feel the need to drive in the right lane on some of the main roads.  When their is no construction, if you've driven in Grand Forks before, it is pretty easy to get around town.

 

There are 3 major roads that run N/S that are roughly a mile apart (Washington, Columbia, 42nd, though only 2 lanes from 6th Ave to Gateway) plus the interstate.  There are a handful of 2 lane direct routes that cross the south end of town going N/S as well (Belmont, Cherry, 20th and 34th).

 

Similar for the roads that run E/W.  Gateway, University, Demers and 32nd will all get you from one end of town to the other, including going under/over the interstate and even though University is only two lanes, it is a pretty quick route if campus isn't too busy.  The big issue is that there is no 4 lane roads between Demers and 32nd, which are 2 miles apart.  Again, there are multiple 2 lane direct routes that go from near the river to 42nd.

 

47th and eventually 62nd will need to be expanded as will Columbia and 42nd on the south side of 32nd.  Actually surprised they aren't widening 47th a little bit more between Washington and Columbia since they already have it dug up.  And at some point a bridge crossing into EGF somewhere on the south side, though not sure exactly what location makes the most sense.

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I think that's where the city needs to get ahead of things. If you dont turn these streets into major corridors and keep them two lanes, they eventually become residential neighborhoods with tons of traffic. Such as 17th ave south, Belmont road, 24th avenue south (subway/caribou intersection to Columbia road), and your currently seeing it on ruemmele road behind target connecting 42nd to Columbia road, tons of traffic going by that park because the city hasn't build connecting roads around it yet.

I think 47th Avenue South is a possible location for the south-end bridge that we will need at some point.  I think we'll also need I-29 Interchanges at 17th Avenue South and 47th Avenue South if we continue growing on the south and west ends like we are now.  It is much better to have these problems than have a shrinking tax base, shortage of jobs and lack of amenities that used to plague Grand Forks.  If anything, the 1997 flood gave us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, especially downtown.

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Recently is better than never I suppose. And since Grand Forks doesn't have the rapid growth Fargo does you'd think it be easier to keep up. Fargo has a lot more areas of growth while grand forks basically had a pretty small area to develop. South of 32nd from the interstate to Washington.

The growth of Grand Forks is fairly recent and thus it will take some time to catch up on infrastructure.  Road projects need planning and funding and both of those take time.  I think we'll get there in the next couple of years.

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Rather than hoping for infrastructure to catch up, I'd really like to see more infill development.  The apartments going in by the railyard by UND and Columbia?  Awesome.  The apartments just north of Columbia Mall?  Great.  The north end has space for new development; Gateway could certainly be turned into a better home for businesses than it is now.

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