With the asphalt-shredders, cement and landscape contractors waiting close by, it is now time to say good bye to the old Hwy 61 that divides White Bear Lake literally in two and install the new Hwy 61 overlay. For the pedestrian, the bicyclist and anyone wanting to cross to the other side to enjoy amenities not found on the side they are on, it will still be a hostile go. But it will be a fine homage to our gasping love affair with the automobile; the speed limit will remain unchanged at 40 mph and the medians will be lovely. Hopefully no one will get hurt crossing at the new and improved pedestrian crosswalks.
Efforts including a last-ditch round with a MNDOT ombudsman to get some safety for bikers and walkers have been stonewalled so far. Is it too late? Perhaps we need to take a lesson from some active and engaged St. Paulites. The “I-35E East Side Trail Extension” at the Cayuga interchange agreement with MNDOT is for bicyclists, walking people and for those who use wheelchairs to get around.The old Gateway Trail/Soo Line railroad bridge across the interstate will not be reopened or replaced, as some had hoped but there is an agreement in place to connect the East Side with everyone else.
That effort took “tons and tons of meetings”. We would be happy with tons and tons of meetings…If enough citizens voice their opinion, perhaps the project could be delayed until these issues are fairly and honestly addressed.