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Transportation

Our Transportation Committee meets on the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Our next meeting will be held on Monday, February 10th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Griggs Midway Building (1821 University Ave, Room 127), St Paul. 

The Transportation Committee advocates for the transportation objectives outlined in the Union Park Community Plan The Committee addresses roadway design, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian access and infrastructure, traffic safety, community livability and other topics. The Transportation Committee makes recommendations to the UPDC Board on transportation topics, and to the UPDC Committee on Land Use and Economic Development on transportation elements of development projects.

Everyone is welcome to attend committee meetings. Email brandon@unionparkdc.org to sign up for the monthly e-mailing list and receive agendas and minutes. 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.)

Current Transportation Committee Topics

  • Future reconstruction of I-94
  • Proposed changes / improvements to Metro Transit bus service
  • Mayor's proposal for Ayd Mill Road
  • Improving Winter snow shoveling
  • Review of the transportation elements of major development proposals in Union Park

Ayd Mill Road

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced fall of 2019 that Ayd Mill Road will be resurfaced into a “complete street” as part of a mill-and-overlay project in 2020.

Car traffic will be restricted to the western most two lanes with the eastern or northbound roadway converted into a bikeway and pedestrian path.

At its meeting on December 4, 2019, the Union Park District Council (UPDC) voted unanimously to support Mayor Carter’s plan for Ayd Mill Road.

The Mayor’s plan was also supported unanimously by our Transportation Committee and by community members who completed a preference ballot at the Transportation Committee meeting on November 11, 2019. The full resolution passed by both committees can be read here.

A timeline of Ayd Mill Road going back to the 1960's can be found here. Current and historical traffic volumes can be found here. Additional relevant information can be read here.


Metro B-Line

The METRO B Line is Metro Transit's planned bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will provide faster and more reliable transit service in the Route 21 corridor along Lake Street and Marshall Avenue. Bus rapid transit is a package of transit enhancements that result in a faster trip and an improved rider experience on the busiest bus routes.

Each weekday, customers take more than 10,000 rides on Route 21, Metro Transit’s second busiest bus route. Buses carry approximately 2% of people traveling by vehicle on Lake Street today and make up less than 2% of vehicle traffic. But Lake Street is also one of the slowest transit corridors in the region. During rush hours, buses regularly slow to average speeds of 8 miles per hour. Frequent stops, lines of customers waiting to board, and red lights mean that buses are moving less than half the time.

BRT routes have improved signage, faster boarding, more frequenty service, a faster trip (with fewer stops and signal priority) and a more comfortable ride. You can read more about the B-Line here. You can read comments UPDC has approved as a full board here.


2019 Transportation Committee Work Plan 

The Transportation Committee approved its 2019 Work Plan in February of 2019 as part of UPDC's Community Engagement Contract with the City of Saint Paul. The 2019 Work Plan was approved by the Board of Directors in March and can be read here. The Transportation Committee and UPDC Board are currently working on the 2020 Work Plan.


"Rethinking" I-94 Reconstruction Planning

Since 2016, MnDOT has been working with neighborhoods, community groups, district councils, local governments and others interested in the future reconstruction of I-94 between St. Paul and Minneapolis. MnDOT has called this process Rethinking I-94. This process will guide future planning design and identify specific construction projects and their timelines. The goals of the study included:

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. UPDC collaborated with Met Council and MnDOT to host engagement in 2018 along the corridor to hear more from residents on desired changes along the corridor.

Brenda Thomas of MnDOT 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 of MnDOT was present to answer questions on current MnDOT projects on I-94 while Phase 2 of Rethinking I-94 progresses. In 2019, MnDOT completed 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

Union Park concerns about and comments on MnDOT's "Purpose and Needs" statement and Statement of Goals" were identified in a memo passed by the UP Transportation Committee on January 13th 2020 and the Executive Committee of UPDC on January 15th, 2020. The memo can be read here.


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. The public comment period ended on January 11, 2019. More information on the Plan can be found here.

The 10 Year Plan, completed in 2016 by UPDC that informs the Comprehensive Plan, can be found here.

 

 

 

 


Previous Work

Saint Paul Pedestrian Plan

he City of Saint Paul recently created its 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. The City of Saint Paul released their Draft Pedestrian Plan here. 

The offical public comment was from December 14, 2018 - January 25, 2019.

The plan was presented to the Saint Paul Transportation Committee on November 19, 2018; it was presented to the Planning Commission on December 14, 2018 to request a formal draft plan release.

The UPDC Board voted in favor of supporting the Pedestrian Plan with two caveats, you can read UPDC's position here.


Permit Parking Area

Neighbors living in and near Parking Permit Area #8 are sought 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.

The outcome can be found here.


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


Starbucks

Transportation Committee -- along with the Committee on Land Use and Economic Development and the full Union Park Board -- has submitted multiple resolutions (read here and here) 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 were 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 and Board reviewed the revised site plan and UPDC maintains its opposition to the conditional use permit that allows Starbucks to operate a drive through at this location, which can be read here.

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


The Harper

If you have further questions or comments on the Harper 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.


 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 Transportation Committee formed a working group to address pedestrian safety concerns on Cretin Avenue from I-94 to Summit.

The group consisted of residents who live near Cretin, as well as interested Committee members and St. Thomas representatives. They met with city traffic engineers, Ward 4 staff, and other stakeholders to identify the primary issues, and hosted broader community discussions on the issues. Their goal was to arrive at cost-effective, shorter-term solutions that could be implemented to enhance pedestrian safety along the corridor.

The city had applied for grant funding from MnDOT 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.

The results and suggestions from this working group that were sent to the city can be read here. Suggestions to MnDOT can be read here.


Summit Bridge

The City of St. Paul replaced the Summit Avenue bridge over the Short Line Railroad and Ayd Mill corridor in 2018.

The bridge was 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.

Transportation 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. 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 was 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 has been 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

The Union Park Board 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 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 was lost as a result of the median installation.

 

 

 


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 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