Connection – they did it in St. Paul

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.

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One thought on “Connection – they did it in St. Paul

  1. The NE Metro does seem to be very car centric and oblivious to cyclist/ped safety.

    We live in Lino. The main artery from the north edge of the school district (Sunset Drive) crosses over Hwy 35 to allow access for students to an elementary school and the only Middle School and High School. Amazingly, it is a two lane over 35W with no shoulder and enough of a rise in the road from both sides that cars going 45-50 can’t see a cyclist or ped from a distance. Mind numbingly stupid.

    In addition, Hwy 14 over 35E has a trail that starts on the east edge of the bridge running into Centerville, but, again, the road itself is two lane, no shoulder, bad sightlines. There is construction that appears it might include a bike and ped lane, but at present pace the construction is looking like it will be done in 2032. I know many, many people who use bikes not just for recreation, but for transportation. I wish our elected reps and others responsible were more willing willing to support our interest.

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