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Transportation

Our Transportation Committee usually meets on the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Our next meeting will be held on Monday, December 10 at the Griggs Midway Building (1821 University Ave. West, South Conference Room 127)

The Transportation Committee advocates for the objectives outlined in the Union Park Community Plan regarding transportation and supports various transportation initiatives. The Committee addresses issues related to transportation infrastructure, public right of way, multi-modal options, safety, mobility and liveability. The Transportation Committee makes recommendations to the Board, or directly to the city or other decision-making agency. 

Everyone is welcome to attend our meetings. Email alexa@unionparkdc.org to receive the agenda and supporting documents before each meeting. If you are interested in joining the Committee, you’ll need to attend three consecutive meetings to become a voting member. (Please note that membership is limited to people over 17 years old who live--or own property or a business--within the Union Park boundaries and that voting privileges shall be revoked for any community member who misses three regular or special meetings over the course of a calendar year after becoming a voting member.)

2040 Comprehensive Plan - Saint Paul for All

The City of Saint Paul has released the draft of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan - Saint Paul For All.

Please give your opinions on the draft plan in the comment form through this link, or in-person at the public hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Friday January 11, 2018 in Room 40 (basement) of City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Boulevard. The public comment period will end on January 11, 2019.

 

 

Roy Street Two-Way Conversion:

The City of Saint Paul is proposing a conversion of Roy Street between Shields Avenue and Spruce Tree Avenue from a one-way northbound street to a two-way. The traffic signal at Spruce Tree and Snelling has been removed and a new traffic signal will be constructed at Shields and Snelling. The project also involves constructing a median on Snelling at Spruce Tree, preventing left-turns from eastbound Spruce Tree to northbound Snelling. Allowing southbound traffic on Roy Street between Shields & Spruce Tree would allow access to northbound Snelling via the new signal at Shields to properties losing access at Spruce Tree. Public Works will hold a community engagement meeting on the topic in October or November.

Recent Transportation Committee Topics

Saint Paul Pedestrian Plan:

The City of Saint Paul has released their Draft Pedestrian Plan here. The plan will be presented to the Saint Paul Transportation Committee on November 19, 2018; if it is approved, it will be presented to the Planning Commission on December 14, 2018 to request a formal draft plan release. The offical public comment period is tenatively set for December 14, 2018 - January 25, 2019. The Planning Commission hearing is tentatively set for January 25, 2019. We will post a link to the public comment website when it becomes available. 

University of St. Thomas Transportation & Parking:

William Carter III, Manager of Special Projects & Events, and Diana Kaardal, Manager of Operations, Parking & Transportation, presented on parking, transit and transportation at the University of Saint Thomas. St. Thomas encourages event attendees to use parking and transit options provided by the University rather than parking in neighborhoods and on side streets. Companies and event planners are provided with a map and instructions to help plan for the transportation and parking needs of their attendees.

Cretin Avenue Working Group:

The Transportation Committee has approved the recommendation from the Cretin Avenue Working Group. The recommendations will go to the full UPDC Board of Directors for approval; the transportation committee is requesting a letter be sent from the UPDC Board to the City of Saint Paul and MnDOT. Cretin Avenue will be included on the agenda for the December 5 board meeting. 

 

Past Transportation Committee Topics

MnDOT's Rethinking I-94 Initiative:

Brenda Thomas presented on the work completed in Phase 1 of their Rethinking I-94 Iniative and on the plans for Phase 2, which will take place from 2018 to 2020/2021. The presentation is available here. Dale Gade was present to answer questions on current MnDOT projects on I-94 while Phase 2 of Rethinking I-94 progresses. In 2019, MnDOT work will incude a Mill & Overlay for sections of I-94; more information is available here. More information on Phase 1 of Rethinking I-94 is available here

Permit Parking Area #8:

Neighbors living in and near Parking Permit Area #8 are seeking an expansion of the permit parking area as a response to concerns about current parking availability and the future impact of the Allianz Field Stadium. The committee requested data on the availability of parking and impact of nearby businesse on residential parking. 

Snelling Avenue Signal Time Changes:

Mike Klobucar, from City of Saint Paul Public Works Department, presented on light interval changes at intersectins along Snelling. New traffic signal timings will be tested at intersections between St. Anthony and Selby Avenues; optimization of traffic signal timings on certain roadways is required every 5 years by state statute. 

The changes will include removal of the flashing yellow arrows onto Concordia & St. Anthony during peak times, reduced cycle lengths at Selby, Concordia and St. Anthony, and removal of the automatic walk signal at Snelling & Selby (pedestrians will be required to push the button). If these changes are effective, they will remain permanently. 

The committee has asked Public Works to attend the November Transportation meeting and present on their findings after the changes have gone into affect.

MnDOT's Rethinking I-94 Initiative

Brenda Thomas presented on the work completed in Phase 1 of their Rethinking I-94 Iniative and on the plans for Phase 2, which will take place from 2018 to 2020/2021. The presentation is available here. Dale Gade was present to answer questions on current MnDOT projects on I-94 while Phase 2 of Rethinking I-94 progresses. In 2019, MnDOT work will incude a Mill & Overlay for sections of I-94; more information is available here.

Starbucks:

The City of Saint Paul Planning Commission approved the modified Starbucks site plan (234 Snelling Avenue North).  

O'Gara's Redevelopment

f you have further questions or comments on the O'Gara's Redevelopment after their presentation at the most recent meeting, please contact Ryan A+E, Inc. at joseph.peris@ryancompanies.com or thomas.rehwaldt@ryancompanies.com

You can find Ryan Companies final Traffic Demand Management Plan (TDMP) to the City of Saint Paul here.

Saint Paul Pedestrian Plan 

The City of Saint Paul is creating their first-ever plan to support safe walking in Saint Paul. The plan will address citywide walking needs like filling in gaps in our sidewalk system, safer ways to cross streets, and education and enforcement programs to support safe walking. The Steering Committee has completed their community outreach and the results are available here

Rethinking I-94

Since 2016, MnDot has been working with neighborhoods, community groups, district councils, local governments and others interested in the future of I-94 between St. Paul and Minneapolis through its Rethinking I-94 study. This project will guide future project development efforts along the freeway and identify specific construction projects and their timelines. The goals of the study include:

Learning more about how I-94 is used by residents, and forecasting travel demands.

  • Producing a long-term, community-based approach to understand the needs of the area around I-94.
  • Gaining a stronger understanding of the structural conditions of I-94, including its bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure.
  • Determining how to best address the mobility needs of and around the freeway.

You can find an interactive map on the Rethinking I-94 page to add comments on your experience with the freeway or read the experiences of others. Union Park hosted MnDOT staff to discuss the project; you can review some of the information discussed in a Q&A with MnDOT. We will be collaborating with Met Council and MnDOT to do engagement in 2018 along the corridor to hear more from residents on desired changes along the corridor.

Permit Parking Changes

On February 12, the Committee hosted city staff to present on the city's permit parking study and recommendations. The city currently maintains 27 permit parking areas to make it easier for residents to find on-street parking near their home, many of which lie within the Union Park boundaries. In those areas, residents must purchase permits to park on the street, and parking by non-permit holders is not allowed, during certain timeframes. The city embarked on the permit parking study with an eye toward streamlining the system and making the areas more consistent.  

Cretin Avenue working group

The Committee has formed a working group to address pedestrian safety concerns on Cretin Avenue from I-94 to Summit. The group consists of residents who live near Cretin, as well as interested Committee members and St. Thomas representatives. They plan to meet with city traffic engineers, Ward 4 staff, and other stakeholders to identify the primary issues, and will also host broader community discussions on the issues. Their goal is to arrive at cost-effective, shorter-term solutions that could be implemented to enhance pedestrian safety along the corridor.

The city had applied to MnDOT for grant funding to support the addition of sidewalks on the west side of the Cretin Avenue between I-94 and Marshall, adjacent to the Town and Country Club. That proposal was not funded.

 

Future Road Projects

 

 

Starbucks Drive-through

The Transportation Committee -- along with the Committee on Land Use and Economic Development and the full Union Park Board -- has submitted multiple resolutions to the city requesting that the drive-through be closed unless and until the persistent right-of-way obstructions created by queueing vehicles are resolved. City staff have been in negotiation with Starbucks for months on the creation of an acceptable site plan that would provide for adequate vehicle queueing space on the site. The Committee is waiting for the opportunity to review the newest revised site plan, and to make a recommendation to the city on the plan. 

The City's review process for the most recent site plan will follow this timeline:

Date unknown – Starbucks submits revised site plan (the City will then distribute the submission via ENS)

Date unknown – Zoning Committee holds public hearing (3:30 pm, City Council chambers)

Date unknown – Planning Commission votes on Zoning Committee recommendation re site plan (8:30 am. City Hall Room 40, no additional public testimony taken).

The decision of the Planning Commission is final unless appealed to the City Council within 10 days. 

Comments for the Planning Commission public hearing should be submitted to Larry Zangs and Josh Williams.

Summit Bridge

The City of St. Paul plans to replace the Summit Avenue bridge over the Short Line Railroad and Ayd Mill corridor in 2018. The bridge is at the end of its useful life, and the opportunity for redesign will allow the city to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in the area. Committee members and residents had an opportunity to ask questions about two possible design options and offer feedback on design and proposed detours.

Hamline Avenue

The committee has discussed safety and traffic concerns along the Hamline Avenue corridor between University and Summit Avenues. Among the numerous issues identifed are pedestrians crossing mid-block, traffic speeds, congestion created by left-hand turns, excessive "lane jockeying," and the need to accommodate bicycle facilities in the future. The committee will continue to work on this issue and coordinate with city staff to plan for some cost-effective shorter-term improvements, especially near the Target store driveway. 

Pelham Bikeway

The City has implemented biking improvements along Pelham after much community engagement, including a final presentation to our committee on Monday, March 13, 2017. Part of Saint Paul's Grand Round, Pelham received a two-way, in-street protected bikeway. While bicycle connectivity and safety will be enhanced, there was also some loss of vehicle parking involved in the project. The City Council held a public hearing on the project on Monday, June 7 before implementing the final proposal. 

 

 

 

 

St. Anthony Avenue traffic calming and bicycle facility planning

A group of residents worked with Public Works Transportation Planners to address concerns about vehicle traffic speed along St. Anthony Avenue between Snelling and Prior Avenues. They analyzed traffic and parking data, and reviewed various options to achieve traffic calming along the variety of roadway widths presented there (the image below illustrates one of the options along the widest stretch).

Because St. Anthony Avenue is part of the City's bike plan, and because St. Anthony can provide an important connection to the site of the future soccer stadium, bicycle facilities were incorporated into the traffic calming solution.

While some of this project was implemented in fall 2017, the remainder of it will be installed in spring 2018. If you have questions or comments about this project, check out the city's project page and contact Reuben Collins, the St. Paul Transportation Engineer working on the project.

 

Pedestrian Safety at Snelling and Selby

The Committee has frequently discussed ways to address resident concerns around pedestrian safety at Snelling and Selby Avenues. It advocated for the implementation of Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) there, which allow pedestrians a few seconds to begin walking before parallel vehicle traffic gets a green light. Saint Paul had been piloting LPI at intersections elsewhere in the city, recognizing that there is a tension between adding time for pedestrians and increasing vehicle wait time (and congestion) and possibly pushing more traffic into neighborhoods. We have received positive feedback from residents on the LPI at Snelling and Selby.

Relatedly, as part of the Vintage project, the bumpout in front of Whole Foods was expanded to shorten the pedestrian crossing distance there. A right hand turn lane is being installed on Selby at Saratota to allow westbound vehicles to access northbound Snelling by using Saratoga and avoiding the Snelling/Selby intersection. 

Potential medians along Snelling through Union Park

Our full Union Park board recently endorsed the concept of adding medians along Snelling Avenue between Selby and Summit Avenues, and authorized additional community engagement on the idea. Similar to the stretch south of Grand Avenue, the medians would allow through-traffic and left turns at every other block (likely at Selby, Laurel and Portland), while providing pedestrian refuge and blocking through-traffic and left turns at alternate blocks (likely at Hague and Ashland). No parking along Snelling would be lost as a result of the median installation.

Please let us know your thoughts on this proposal by completing this short survey. Thank you!

 

  

St. Paul Healthy Transportation for All 

This initiative aimed to support the creation of an environmentally sound and economically efficient multimodal transportation system that will be equitable and improve public health. UPDC continues to be active in this group, participating in and facilitating dialogues between city staff, politicians, advocates, and other District Councils. 

City-wide Pedestrian Safety 

UPDC is consistently involved in efforts to enhance our streetscape for people who walk and improve compliance with laws that protect pedestrian safety. In Minnesota, every intersection is a crosswalk, and vehicle drivers must yield to pedestrians at any intersection! (Minnesota Statutes § 169.21)

On March 17th, UPDC kicked off a series of pedestrian safety events as part of the new Stop for Me campaign. Stop For Me is a yearlong effort to improve safety for people who use St. Paul’s sidewalks and cross our streets. The campaign is organized by St. Paul’s 17 District Councils, St. Paul Smart Trips, and the St. Paul Police Department.

On average, a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit in St. Paul every other day. Last year, six people were killed while crossing St. Paul streets. These injuries and deaths are preventable. No one wants to be involved in a crash. Look for pedestrians at every corner, and stop for them every time. It's the law. Check out this video to learn more.

Watch for our future events and stay connected to the new campaign by visiting the Stop for Me website and reading the recent news coverage below: 

St. Paul launches effort to change the city's driving culture - by enforcing pedestrian laws
St. Paul Police Department launches 'Stop for Me' Campaign
St. Paul Police step up pedestrian safety law enforcement
St. Paul launches safety campaigndays after woman was hit crossing street
St. Paul launches campaign to keep cyclists, pedestrians safe
Stop for Me seeks to improve crosswalk safety
As St. Paul police prepare safety campaign, pedestrian death devastates family
Crystal woman identified in Tuesday's fatal car-pedestrian collision in St. Paul