Those of you who have been with us for a while will recognize this story from back in January, but now we have updates!
So, what’s all the fuss about? Last summer the City of Saint Paul installed a test median at the intersection of Cleveland avenue and Jefferson avenue in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood. The goal of the test was two-fold, first, they intended to slow traffic down on Cleveland ave, which during rush hour can feature cars speeding in both directions as it is used as an alternative to Snelling ave. Second, the median serves as a pedestrian and bicycle refuge for those traveling on the Jefferson ave bike boulevard (which has had its own share of turmoil). If approved by this Saint Paul City Council, the median would be built using federal funds, already available to the project. You can read a full summary of the project and feedback received here (pdf link).
It has been a full year since the test median was originally installed on Cleveland and it looks like the City still hasn’t made a decision. They have received a lot of feedback about the issue, mostly during the winter, and while it is supported in the cycling and pedestrian friendly communities, the residents of the area not only dislike it, but they are actually kind of mad about it being there. Check out our full coverage from earlier this year, here and here.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the Macalester-Groveland Community Council has decided that they cannot support the project. According to the Pioneer Press the Council noted that one of the reasons why they came out against the proposal was due to a lack of time to discuss the issue;
“There was insufficient time for materials and information received from the City (mid-afternoon on a Friday) to be shared, reviewed and responded to by our community at the following Monday evening meeting,”
While we appreciate the fact that official City materials weren’t provided until shortly before the meeting, was there really anyone out there who did not have a fully formed opinion on this issue prior to its release? Extensive amounts of information on this project have been available for over eight months so stating that non-support by the community council is due to a lack of time, seems a little disingenuous.
It has seemed pretty clear from the beginning that the vocal members of that community do no want this project in their area, but we would love to hear from someone actually living there. Leave your comments below.