May 2, 2023
Saint Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse
The fight is not over!

We have had some wins. A few people are listening. But the proposed bike trail for Summit Avenue is still on the City Council agendas:

  • Public hearing May 24 at 5:30 p.m.
  • A vote on May 30th.

We need you to keep raising your voices! Contact City Hall!
Or write letters to the editor like Karen Sprattler! Read her letter which appeared in the Star Tribune today. Here's a link to send yours.
Update, don't overhaul

Rather than the proposed Summit Avenue regional bike trail, St. Paul should focus on proven and systemic low-cost safety enhancements to the existing bike lanes.
This project has repeatedly been presented as necessary to improve safety, despite no data provided by the city demonstrating Summit Avenue is more or less safe than a comparable St. Paul street.

As Minnesota works Toward Zero Deaths, understanding the incidence of bike and pedestrian injury within a larger traffic safety context is critical. From 2017-2021, 42,104 police-reported traffic crashes occurred in Ramsey County, and 111 people lost their lives. Pedestrians were 32% of these tragedies and bicyclists 3%.

Research on separated bike facilities from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Federal Highway Administration suggests the proposed trail design would actually be less safe than what currently exists and could lead to even more intersection-related conflicts, which are typically the most injurious.

In the project's 90% plan, the city expressly ignores the expertise of its consultant Bolton & Menk, a highly respected transportation engineering firm. The city has not yet explained why it completely disregards the paid consultant's primary engineering recommendation:

"It is recommended that additions to Summit Avenue should be as simple as possible and not change the existing curb lines whether it is within the 100-foot-wide or 200-foot-wide section of the avenue."

That means no separated bike trail. St. Paul residents must contact their elected representatives and challenge why this $12 million project continues to move forward despite common sense, research and professional engineering recommendations to the contrary.

Karen Sprattler, St. Paul
The writer is a transportation safety consultant.
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Feel strongly about street safety, trees, historic character?
Join the cause and contribute here:
ABOUT SOS (Save Our Street)
Save Our Street is a citizen group that seeks to educate and advocate for the preservation of the historic streetscape of Summit Avenue as a treasured St. Paul destination and a safe, tree-lined, multi-modal corridor for generations to come.
SOS Steering Committee Chair: Gary Todd [email protected] 651-470-4720
SOS Public Relations Carolyn Will [email protected] 612-414-9661
SOS PR & Volunteer Coordinator Susan Ritt [email protected]