05/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/25/2023 17:12
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2023
SAINT PAUL - The Saint Paul City Council last night voted 6-1 to approve the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan. The plan will now go to the Metropolitan Council for final review and approval to guide future transportation, pedestrian, and parkway improvements within the 5.4-mile corridor that runs from Mississippi River Boulevard to Shepard Road via Summit Avenue and Kellogg Boulevard. The Summit Avenue Regional Trail will be centrally located in the Regional Parks System, providing a direct east-west connection from Mississippi Gorge Regional Park to the Sam Morgan Regional Trail via downtown Saint Paul.
"This vision for Summit Avenue supports the evolving needs of users to create a safer and more resilient, people-oriented corridor," said Mayor Carter. "The passage by the council is an important milestone for desired improvements to connectivity and access to open space for a broad range of users."
Starting in 2021, the city sought community priorities and feedback for the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan and has since conducted several professional studies on topics including tree analysis, historical resources, and traffic impacts. The plan was shaped by these studies as well as the thousands of community comments and ideas received through online tools, public events, and community meetings over the last 18 months.
"This plan is the result of thousands of voices coming together to help shape the future of Summit Avenue," said Andy Rodriguez, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Director. "I want to thank everyone who was engaged on this project, including the many residents, community groups and advisory committees who weighed in, as well as our city staff teams for their dedicated, creative and professional work throughout this process."
The passage of the plan allows the City of Saint Paul to pursue funding opportunities for the future trail. Further engagement, design, and engineering, in coordination with future road reconstruction on Summit Avenue, will be required to advance a future project for construction.
"The Summit Avenue Regional Trail reflects our community's vision for the future as a safer, more connected, and more sustainable Saint Paul," said Councilmember Mitra Jalali. "The desperately overdue reconstruction of this 100+ year old street will replace essential aging sewer and water infrastructure while creating a brand-new, separated bike path flanked by an abundance of trees and expanded green space. It's a win-win for our city, and I can't wait to bike down it myself with my many neighbors who use bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, scooters and ebikes, and simply could not use this street safely before. Let's keep moving forward together for equity, sustainability, and accessibility for all in Saint Paul."
Summit Avenue has been an integral part of the Saint Paul community since the mid-1800s and remains one of the most iconic and historic areas of the city. Over time, the purpose and use of this corridor has evolved with the needs of the community. This plan aims to anticipate future needs of a growing city, providing strategies to preserve, reveal, and restore historic elements of Summit Avenue. Several factors will influence the phasing of the design and construction of the trail facility including funding, construction priorities, and coordination with other roadway reconstruction projects.
For more information about the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan, visit engagestpaul.org/summit.
Last Edited: May 25, 2023