Truck traffic sparks study, action

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Don Pflaum from Minneapolis Public Works recently updated Camden residents with “hard data” from truck traffic counts conducted in the Humboldt Industrial Park (HIP) area. Shingle Creek Neighborhood Association (SCNA) hosted the January 10 meeting at Creekview Park where Victory, Lind Bohanon and Shingle Creek residents received details of the truck traffic study funded with a $15,000 grant from CP Rail to the City via SCNA. Combining “free” city staff time with the grant funds resulted in truck traffic counts from 85 stations observed during midweek (Tue., Wed., and Thur.) time periods during the fall of 2004. The traffic management study grew out of the multi-year Humboldt Industrial Park community planning, visioning and greening process facilitated by the Camden NRP neighborhood organizations with assistance from City Council Member Barbara Johnson (now City Council President).

Pflaum, who coordinates city bike routes and provides technical guidance for light rail transit, said the fall 2004 testing provided 85 percent good counts. The city followed up with an additional 15 percent in spring 2005. The city’s testing tubes differentiated between passenger cars, buses, trucks and other vehicles. The truck traffic study sought to determine truck volumes compared with volumes of other traffic and focused on collector streets, Humboldt, 49th and Lyndale Avenues. The study concludes that the city should keep truck routes where they are now situated, that improved signage be used to better delineate the existing truck routes, and that most trucks follow prescribed truck routes. Prior to the community meeting, Pflaum said that his department wanted to use resources to get “hard numbers” into the hands of neighborhood residents. Pflaum suggested that neighborhood organizations could do follow-up with implementation planning using the traffic data supplied from the Public Works study.

In related business, also present at the community meeting were Paul Hyde, Real Estate Recycling principal, and David Drach of CP Rail. Hyde reported favorable news concerning pollution clean-up grant funding for the development proposal for a 125,000 sq. ft. building on a 10-acre tract in the northwest corner of CP Rail’s Humboldt Yards. Sr. Project Coordinator Jim Forsyth from Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) presented info on the Humboldt Industrial Park Tax-Increment Finance Plan and the Humboldt Industrial Park Redevelopment Plan. When asked about potential truck traffic from the new development, Hyde of RER assured residents that his firm will work with business operators in the new building to encourage them to direct truck traffic westward onto Osseo Road. The City Council Community Development Committee will take public comment on the plans at a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31, in Room 317, Municipal Building.

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