St. Paul’s Arcade Street may be due for makeover

2022-06-25 21:42:31 –

Richard Guzzo calls the street in front of the car repair shop the “Arcade Speedway” after decades of watching cars drive on Arcade Street at high speeds.

A few years ago, the Minnesota Transport Bureau (MnDOT) was E. We have started a project to redesign and reconstruct parts of both 7th Street and Arcade Street, hoping to improve the safety and accessibility of the area. However, some business owners are worried about how construction and new designs will affect their customers and profits.

According to MNCompass, the streets pass through the Payne-Farren and Daytonsbluff districts, with more than 60% of residents of color and nearly 30% immigrants.

The project budget is $ 5 million.

“When you actually see it, the curve is broken. There is a big hole in the gutter. The signs don’t match. The lights don’t match,” said Jack Buyers, Managing Director of the Pain-Farren Community Council. Says. He added that the width of the street was inconsistent and “I’m confused about where the parking lot is and where it isn’t.”

The deadline for the design plan is the end of this month, and construction began in the spring of 2024. However, MnDOT’s communications specialist Mai Xiong said the deadline was extended to provide more time for community involvement.

“It’s likely that the timeline will be extended for weeks, not necessarily months,” Xiong said.

Tired of seeing drivers fleeing due to speed violations and other traffic regulations, Guzzo warns that more enforcement is needed to improve the arcade.

“Change the road. Use the money of all taxpayers. Change the intersection. Whatever, put in some more traffic lights,” Guzzo said. But “if you don’t force people to obey the law, they’re not going to do that.”

What changes look like

MnDOT planners want to make the streets safer and reflect the diversity of their neighborhoods. Ideas include adding bike lanes, parking, pedestrian and bus bumpouts.

Currently, Arcade Street and E. Seventh Street have four lanes and a speed limit of less than 25 mph. In 2020, Ramsey County A research report that includes the discovery of safety benefits by reducing lanes.

At least one of the design options includes reducing the arcade street between Geranium Avenue and Wheelock Parkway from four lanes to three lanes to slow down traffic.

One suggestion from the community is to add audio to the crosswalk intersection in four different languages: Hmong, Karenic, Somali and Spanish.

“We knew how diverse the field was ethnically and socio-economically, so we wanted to make sure we were talking to a larger organization,” Xiong said. “But we wanted to make sure we got people who didn’t speak English, and perhaps unaware that these processes would happen, before we came in and started digging the ground.”

Safety concerns

GW Carver Culture Center for Innovation on E. 7th Street hosted a food pop-up event last year when one of the chefs saw a hit-and-run. A female pedestrian hit a car and ran away.

“Someone hit her and kept going,” said Carl Johnson, managing director of the center. They immediately sought help, but she didn’t survive.

The area around E. 7th and Arcade streets is so dense that many people walk to restaurants and shops. There are design elements that can make a vehicle safer by slowing it down and making it easier to see pedestrians at intersections.

Last week, the Carver Cultural Center held a meeting with MnDOT and local business leaders to discuss the project. Johnson expressed concern about safety.

“There is a lot of traffic, over 25 mph, about 40 mph,” he said.

One of the suggestions was to reduce traffic to three lanes and use the central lane for turns, not to beat everyone who saw it already installed on Maryland Avenue. The winding lane in the center becomes a racing lane, Guzzo said.

“If you drive slowly … the people behind you will want to go faster, they will overtake you anyway. They will go to the third lane in Maryland and overtake you anyway. Yes, I see it happen a lot, “Chan said, Van, Arcade Wine & Spirits Manager.

Business owners are cautious

The time required for construction is unknown. And due to uncertainties such as road closures, traffic detours, and parking restrictions, some business owners are worried about how their work will affect them. doing.

Van hopes that construction will hurt companies that rely on street parking.

Maly Kong, owner of the family-owned Kong’s Kitchen, said: Their restaurant relies on nearby street parking and back alleys.

According to MnDOT’s Xiong, construction is done section by section, so business owners have time to contact MnDOT and plan ways to protect their customers’ access to their stores.

The Payne-Phalen Community Council will host a community meeting at the Arlington Hills Community Center on June 28th at 6:30 pm to vote and decide on project design planning recommendations.

St. Paul’s Arcade Street may be due for makeover Source link St. Paul’s Arcade Street may be due for makeover

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