September 13, 2011 (Oxford/Jimmy Lee Recreation Center)

We had 12 people– Bill Lindeke, Eric Peterson, Dave (I didn’t get your last name) @ Hague and Grotto, Joyce Fitzgerald, Benita Warns, Steve Bergman, Gary Fifield, Matt Cole, Jeff Zaayer, Paul Nelson, Steve Clark and Andy Singer.

We had the following updates: 1. The City is going to test a 2-lane University Avenue with restored parking (one thru-lane in each direction) when the LRT project opens in 2014 and may do it sooner, when street work is complete. The question will be whether the contractors will be closing lanes on a frequent or erratic basis to do station work or whether it can be less frequent and scheduled. If the latter, then they may restore parking when the street work is completed. This is great! While they are not willing to discuss striping bike lanes, it means there will be 6 feet of space on University which cyclists will still be able to use, much as they do today. It’s also good for pedestrians and small business. See our website for a more detailed description of the issues–

  1. A private engineering firm is going to do studies on Snelling Avenue, University, Hamline Avenue, Marshall, Cretin and a couple other corridors, all funded by Transit for Livable Communities. These studies will look at improving pedestrian and bicycle access and the feasibility of creating a new north-south route for bikes that can get riders from Como to Summit (and points south).

  2. REMINDER– THERE WILL BE A JEFFERSON PUBLIC MEETING ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27TH, AT 6PM, in the basement of Nativity Church, (324 S. Prior Avenue, between Stanford and Wellesley). Public Works will be presenting some other options in addition to a median at Cleveland and the meeting promises to be contentious. We are being encouraged to attend, particularly if you live in Ward 3 or Macalaster/Groveland (District 14).

  3. On September 13th Public Works presented the possibility of striping bike lanes on Edgerton Avenue to the District 5 Community Planning and Economic Development Committee. It would have required removing some parking so all the parking people came out in full force and the proposal was voted down. According to Ed Lehr who attended the meeting, County Commissioner Janice Rettman said, if the committee had approved bike lanes, SHE would have made sure they never happened! This despite the fact that it’s on a county plan.

  4. Saint Paul got a “Bronze” ranking from the League of American Cyclists on its “Bicycle Friendly Cities” application. Hopefully the details they provide/provided will help with the upcoming bike planning process. Thanks to everyone who helped out with it.

  5. There will be a Cayuga Bridge Project open house later today, the 22nd, from 3:30-7:30pm at the Hiway Federal Credit Union, 840 Westminister Street. As far as we know, MnDOT and the city have still refused to make some minor changes we requested– keeping the Gateway trail on the same (west) side of the L’Orient all the way to University and some other stuff. This is a a quarter BILLION dollar bridge and highway widening project on I-35E north all the way to Highway 36. It’d be nice if MnDOT could do something substantial to improve non-motorized transportation in this project or anywhere else in the city …yet they often claim they don’t have the money!

  6. Allina’s Community Outreach department ran a free bikes for kids program in the east metro last year and wants to make it even larger this year. They collect donated children’s bicycles at various drop points, haul them to a warehouse where volunteer mechanics fix them up. It’s partially sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products. Allina is looking for community groups in the east metro to distribute the bikes. Suggestions included Common Bond (Skyline Towers) and other St. Paul Public Housing groups, Boys and Girls clubs, etc. Jeff or Benita are going to get more details.

  7. We decided we would not endorse any city council candidates but would continue to interview them and write up some sort of summary of the interviews and send it out to all of you (and TLC’s mailing list). We’ve done most of the interviews and just need to send candidates a brief follow-up questionnaire.

  8. Lastly, please remember to attend a bike planning open house or fill out the Survey Monkey questionnaire on line at– This is an opportunity to draw the city’s attention to any impediment or needs you see in your daily bicycle commuting or riding. The remaining two open houses are from 4-7pm today, Thursday, September 22 at the West Minnehaha Recreation Center, 685 W. Minnehaha Avenue, Saint Paul …and 4-7pm on Monday, September 26 at the Phalen Recreation Center, 1000 E. Wheelock Parkway.