February 8th, 2011, Oxford/Jimmy Lee Recreation Center

In attendance: Dana DeMaster; Matthew Cole; Jeff Zaayer; Andy Singer; Todd Zerger; Mike Madden.

Recap of a February 7th Snelling Avenue Workshop hosted by the Sierra Club and Active Living Ramsey County (ALRC).  70 people came to it including, State Representative Michael Paymar and representatives from city councilmen Pat Harris and Russ Stark’s office. The Highland Villager and other media also attended. MnDOT sent 2 representatives who presented a basic summary of a Mill and Overlay project on Snelling that will go from Como to Taylor Avenue and then from Dayton to West 7th (down Montreal). ALRC, Sierra Club, Smart Trips, TLC and SPBC all see this as a great opportunity to get bike lanes on the south end (from Edgcumbe to West 7th on Montreal) and on the north end from Taylor Avenue to Como Avenue. There were good presentations by the Sierra Club and Steve Clark.  MnDOT caved a bit on the uphill bike lane for Montreal but said “no” to everything else.  We wanted a bike lane stripped on existing shoulders from Taylor Avenue (or Hewitt) to Como, better warning signs and crosswalks on the on-ramps and a 5-10mph reduction in speed limits, some warning signs.  MnDOT’s reply was “We could do a speed evaluation but it might get higher” as their method of setting speed limits is to “observe how fast people drive and set it at 85% of that level because, if (they) did it lower, nobody will obey the limits.”  The workshop revealed that all MnDOT takes into account is cars. Mike Klassen was fretting about people “making political decisions on speeds” (ignoring the fact that Public Works and MnDOT made speeds lower on I-35E and Ayd Mill Road to get them approved by voters).

Discussion of the city’s new “Sustainable Transportation Planner” Emily Goodman (formerly with Planning and Economic Development). Her focus will be on Complete Streets plans and a citywide bike plan. She has expressed interest in getting community input into the process. Agreement that we should invite her to a SPBC meeting in the near future.

Discussion of upcoming February 28th Bike Summit at the state capital organized by the Minnesota Bicycle Alliance (MBA) and Quality Bicycle Products. Issues for MBA include making e-bikes legal on trails.  Good for AARP, senile, elderly, etc.  Dana opposes it.  Also, they changed (or want to change) Municipal State Aid standards, to make it easier to build Complete Streets.  Lastly, there is a push to change reckless driving laws. If you kill someone “by accident”, it would automatically become a “gross misdemeanor” rather than just a misdemeanor. Andy and possibly others plan to register for and attend the bike summit. You can find out more information and register for it at— HYPERLINK “http://www.bikemn.org/index.cfm"http://www.bikemn.org/index.cfm

Discussion of the website: Todd presented new website and explained some of its features. Parts of it were created by his brother. We discussed creating a list of projects with short, value-based descriptions, perhaps creating a list of “Current Projects” and “Past Projects” so things can be moved from one to the other as they get implemented. Once completed, we’d put in our contribution to the project.  Also, project pages should have a status at the very top telling the status of the project.  We’d like to get different members of our group to adopt or commit to updating particular projects. Complaints about Maleness of photos but we can get more and different photos to cycle through on the top banner Discussion of tagging blog and news entries: “Furness Parkway”, “East Side”, “Ward 7”, “District 14”, etc. Update on Central Corridor LRT. In NAACP case, Judge rules the MET Council has to do more to accommodate business owners during construction.  Ruling was on mitigation for business survival during construction but may be an opportunity to press our case for a 2-Lane Alternative. There will be two open houses on February 17th to submit comments, in person to FTA and Met Council representatives. Proofreading the 2011 Saint Paul Trails Map put out by Minnehaha Media. We noticed a couple of minor changes/errors.  Andy will report back to guy with our comments.  Mike Madden gave a Greenway Committee update.  Greenway Committee is recommending that a lane or two of Ayd Mill road be taken for bike lanes, preferably with some sort of separation between cars and bikes/peds, such as jersey barriers or physical space.