Lesley Lavery is organizing a block party for this Tuesday, 8/6. Come hang out with and meet your neighbors from 6-9pm in the middle of the block. Feel free to bring food or drink to share. And don’t forget to move your car to the alley or to Prior before the party gets started.
How can we guide redevelopment on Grand Avenue, Snelling Avenue, and other corridors in Macalester-Groveland to best respond to the changing needs of the community? As the City conducts a zoning study along Grand Avenue from Cretin to Fairview, and as the moratorium on development comes to a close in August 2013, it’s time for the community to weigh in. Through a series of two community workshops, we will explore development scenarios to provide guidance to future redevelopment in the neighborhood. The recommendations will be submitted to the St. Paul City Council and the Planning Commission for consideration in the West Grand Avenue Zoning Study.
Two sample sites that will be considered at the workshops include:
- Grand Avenue – potential development site midblock between Finn and Cretin
- Snelling Avenue – Southeast corner site at St. Clair Avenue
You are encouraged to attend both of these fun and interactive workshops:
- Wednesday, January 30, 5:30 – 8:30pm
- Wednesday, February 13, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Both sessions are at Kagin Commons, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue.
Hosted by the Macalester-Groveland Community Council, the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee, the University of St. Thomas and Macalester College, and in partnership with the City of Saint Paul and LISC’s Corridor Development Initiative. Childcare and translation services will be provided by request only. Please RSVP to Gretchen Nicholls at 651-265-2280 one week in advance of each workshop if you would like to reserve childcare or translation services.
As reported a few weeks ago, the bumpout petition for Lincoln Avenue between Cleveland and Prior was not very popular and we stopped gathering signatures after the no’s passed the 28% mark.
Now I am sad to report that the traffic circle at Lincoln and Prior also failed to gain enough support. We needed 75% of the “linear feet” of each block from the intersection. Today was the deadline and we’d reached only 68%. Again, we got 28% nos.
The thing that feels so awful is that even though over two thirds of our neighbors wanted to see a beautiful small traffic circle as a gateway to our neighborhood, we won’t have it installed. The RSVP project will leave the intersection of Lincoln and Prior as it was.
Two things really got in the way of success on the traffic circle. One was that a neighbor who lives on one of the corners was vehemently opposed the petition. (The other three corner owners supported the petition.) The other was that the owner of the large apartment building at 1940 Grand, which has substantial linear feet on Prior, refused to sign the petition. Missing those two large chunks of footage really made the mission impossible.
The galling thing is that until this Fall the threshold for petitions of this sort was 60%, a threshold we easily surpassed. City Council changed the rules, though, and trying to get three quarters agreement proved too much for our neighborhood.
I’d like to share special thanks with Joe Frank and Susan Hinze who spent many hours knocking on doors. I also appreciate all the support we got (two thirds!) and all the thoughtful concerns that were expressed along the way. It was great to get to know more neighbors through this petition drive.
Welcome to 2012! Quite a lot will change on our block this year, it should be exciting. As you know, we have been circulating two petitions for modifications to the street as part of the RSVP project and another petition for parking permits passed a couple months ago but is in a bit of trouble at the neighborhood council level. We need your help with all of these, so here’s an update.
Even though we gathered more than the 60% support for changes to the Area 21 parking permits, the Mac-Groveland Community Council’s Transportation Committee refused to support our petition in December. Instead, it will be brought up again at their meeting at 6:30pm Monday, 1/23, at the Edgcumbe Rec Center. We really need as many advocates for this permit as possible to join us at this meeting!
In December some vocal neighbors from Lincoln between Prior and Howell complained that the transportation committee would only be nudging the St. Thomas parking problem eastward by supporting permit parking on Lincoln between Cleveland and Prior. This may be the case, but we are following the process the committee laid out for us at their January 2011 meeting. We were offered no resolution for St. Thomas parking issues by either St. Thomas or the city except this permit process. Now is the time to turn out to advocate for the parking permits!
Traffic Circle and Bumpouts
In December we worked with the city to draw up two petitions for traffic calming modifications to Lincoln as part of the RSVP process. Neighbors have been circulating these petitions since mid-December. The bumpouts have not been very well received, and that petition has already failed. The idea of a traffic circle at Lincoln and Prior that matches the one installed at Lincoln and Finn last year has seen considerably more support and is currently on track for the 75% approval required to succeed. You check up on these at our petition progress page.
We less than two weeks to complete the traffic circle petition, though. There are 22 houses on Lincoln that we have failed to reach. If you can help out with door knocking or phone calls to these neighbors, please let me know! The petition is due at the city on Friday, 1/13.
We now have two petitions for calming traffic on Lincoln Avenue as part of next year’s RSVP project. One petition supports two “bumpouts” along the north side of Lincoln Avenue. The other supports a “circle” at Lincoln and Prior.
We need advocates to help circulate these petitions. If you are interested, please contact Eric (651-323-2009) right away. We only have until 13 January to gain 75% support!
The city sent along detailed drawings to illustrate these petitions. The illustration below is a composite of those drawings. Click on any of the light areas to see each drawing in detail.
Some of us have requested a special meeting to discuss traffic calming and rain garden options that could be added to the 2012 Prior-Goodrich RSVP project. That meeting will be held 6:30-8:30pm, Wednesday, 7 December 2011 at the Hillcrest Recreation Center at 1978 Ford Parkway.
The neighbors on Lincoln Avenue will be talking about some ideas they are working on for their street, and how some of those features could be added around the rest of the neighborhood for a bigger impact on traffic. City and watershed district staff will be there to listen to the ideas and to help answer questions regarding what is feasible and what might work well for this neighborhood. Hope to see you there!
Lincoln Avenue Contacts: Eric Celeste, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-323-2009 and
Steve Gorg, email@example.com, 651-334-7624. City Project Manager: Lisa Falk-Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-266-6117.
About 15 Lincoln Avenue neighbors met at Eric’s house on 11/22 to discuss traffic calming options as part of the RSVP project. We were joined by our city council member Russ Stark, Public Art Administrator Regina Flanagan, and Forrest Kelley of the Capitol Region Watershed District.
We discussed options including traffic circles, bumpouts, speed bumps, pedestrian crossings, greenway, one way, public art, and rain gardens. Considering the timing of the RSVP project and the imperatives of making decisions about “concrete” quickly, we decided to focus our conversation on a traffic circle at Lincoln and Prior, bumpouts along Lincoln, and rain gardens.
Read on for details! Continue reading
Steve Gorg and Eric Celeste invite everyone to a meeting to discuss traffic calming options associate with the RSVP project. We will meet on Tuesday evening, 11/22, at 5:30pm at Eric’s house, 1993 Lincoln Avenue. Monica Beeman, a Saint Paul traffic engineer, and Russ Stark, our city council member, will both be present learn what we are thinking about and help answer questions. Whether you like options like curb bumpouts and traffic circles or not, please join us so we get a full sense of what the neighborhood wants to see. Contact Eric at 323-2009 with questions.