[Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Downtown, Saint Paul.]
[Downtown, Saint Paul.]
[West Side, Saint Paul.]
|[A Villager waits at a chow mein restaurant.]|
|[The Wabasha Bridge and the West Side.]|
|[On that day, the closure would have added 3/4 mile to my walk.]|
Walking across the bridge this morning was a delight until I reached the middle of the bridge. Apparently the city is closing the sidewalk access halfway through the bridge on the West side. For someone on foot, the only if you want to get across the river are to go down the stairs to Raspberry Island, turn back and walk across the bridge on the other side after crossing the street (only legally back at Filmore, which is quite a walk!), or continue forward and have to hop a jersey barrier and almost get hit by turning cars, made worse because of a fence sign placed right in the sightline. You cannot cross to the other side of the bridge because you will fall to your death. (This has happened once.)
None of those options are good ones. The city should either keep access open to the crosswalk or close it completely on this side of the street.
|[From February 2016 to July 2018 is two and a half years.]|
|[Photo taken August 2018.]|
CM Tolbert and Director Lantry,
The lack of a safe pedestrian detour around the construction at Snelling & St Clair was brought to my attention this morning. This is completely unacceptable. First, there shouldn't be a sidewalk closed on Snelling Avenue less than a block from an A-Line station. The parking lane should be protected with jersey barriers and made pedestrian accessible for the entire length of the construction zone. No one should be forced to cross Snelling Ave twice to reach the transit station. Second, the "sidewalk closed" sign should be moved to the (only slightly) safer crossing of Stanford. Once the forced crossing is established at Stanford, there should be a painted crosswalk with a middle-of-the-road sign stating "state law requires drivers stop for pedestrians."
Finally, this happens nearly every time there's a project that necessitates the closure of the sidewalk. Public Works needs to create and enforce a comprehensive plan to address this during the permitting process. If a sidewalk is to be closed, then the contractor must do a better job of accommodating our most vulnerable right-of-way users.
Please address this specific instance today and work to ensure this is preemptively addressed for future construction projects by creating appropriate procedures.