ST. PAUL NOTES | Survey identifies concerns, solutions for Snelling and Selby traffic

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Pedestrian safety was identified as the biggest issue for the intersection by 84 of 215 respondents to an online survey conducted by the Union Park District Council from January 10-22. Another 60 ranking it their second or third choice. Traffic back-ups during rush hour ran a close second.

Among the suggested steps to improve pedestrian safety, adjusting traffic signals to give pedestrians a head start was the most popular, followed by ticketing cars that run red lights or don’t yield to pedestrians and retaining or installing bumpouts at corners and/or installing medians.

The most popular choices for reducing traffic congestion were providing left turn signals for traffic going from Selby to Snelling and diverting Ayd Mill Road traffic to different routes.

More than half of the respondents also entered comments on the survey. Concerns over Ayd Mill Road topped the list, with suggestions to close it, connect it to Marshall, or connect it to I-94. Among the more than 25 commenters with something to say about Ayd Mill Road, the largest number wanted to connect it to I-94, though there was nothing like a consensus. If anything, the consensus seemed to be that, “Ayd Mill Road seems to be the problem.”

Some commenters also criticized the survey’s design, saying that the choices offered were not the right ones. Among them were commenters who faulted the survey for seeming to focus on automobile traffic and not paying sufficient attention to bicycles and pedestrians. One wrote:

“I use this area very frequently for commuting and sometimes for entertainment/errand reasons. Problem: people who aren’t in cars (also on bikes or using transit) find the intersection and area dangerous. Problem: drivers are sent design signals that they are the only intersection users who matter Problem: as a person riding a bike, I feel like I’m better off on the sidewalk — which is bad for pedestrians. 

Another common theme was the need  for greater enforcement of existing traffic laws:

“I know it’s not a sexy part of police work to give out traffic tickets so it doesn’t happen much. If a few cops were dedicated to doing nothing else in this area they could fund their own positions and theViking stadium.”

A task force is being set up to continue the discussion. For more information, contact Anne White (anne@unionparkdc.org) or Bernadette Chlebeck (bernadette@unionparkdc.org)

And, along the same general lines, the Neighborhood Issues Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 18 at 6:00 pm at the Merriam Park Recreation Center, and will talk about the Friendly Streets initiative. From the website:

“The Green Line Friendly Streets Initiative is a joint project of the six District Councils that represent the Saint Paul neighborhoods along the Green Line: Saint Anthony Park, Union Park, Hamline Midway, Frogtown, Summit-University, and Downtown (Districts 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 & 17).”

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