March greetings! Here’s city-related news for residents of Ward 1 and beyond.
Snow, snow, snow: Had enough yet? With 39 inches of snow and five snow emergencies, February 2019 is the fourth snowiest month on record in St. Louis Park. Shout out to city staff who’ve worked day and night to keep our streets, sidewalks and trails as clear as they could. Thanks also to residents who contacted me and other council members with suggestions for how to improve our notifications – you made a difference! Please note that in some parts of the city, including Ward 1, an even-side parking ban is in place for the remainder of March, to ensure large vehicles like fire trucks and snow plows can get through. Click here to see a map of affected streets. Note that this ban does not change the rules during a snow emergency.
Dakota Park bridge/bikeway project: Planning continues for this important infrastructure project, which will provide a north-south pedestrian and bike connection from Dakota Avenue & Lake Street to Edgewood Avenue & Cedar Lake Road in the West End area, including a new bridge over the Burlington Northern railroad tracks at Dakota Park (map here). Thanks to the 360 people who participated in the online survey about the project, including many Peter Hobart students and families! I’ll be attending a meeting with city and school staff this week to view the latest proposed design for the bridge. The final public meeting on the project will be Tuesday, March 19, 5:30 pm, location TBD. To receive an email notice on the meeting location, sign up here. Construction of the bikeway/bridge is slated for 2019 & 2020.
Future corridor improvement project: City staff have completed a feasibility analysis of County Road 25 from the Hwy 100 area to France Avenue. The goal is to create a vibrant corridor with sustainable urban design including green infrastructure elements and safe, enjoyable bike/pedestrian options, supporting the area's evolution into a mixed-use destination connected to the Triangle neighborhood, North Cedar Lake Regional Trail, and future Green Line light rail station. I’ll be hearing more about this study soon and look forward to the public engagement process that will take place in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Ranked Choice Voting learning opportunities: Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is coming to SLP – this November! SLP’s mayor and at-large city council members will be chosen using RCV, which allows voters to rank multiple candidates for the same office in order of preference. City staff have chosen the theme, “More Choices, More Voices” for the public education component of RCV and are creating a wealth of educational materials and in-person learning opportunities for residents. One opportunity is a free, one-hour course called Civic Engagement and Elections 101– upcoming dates are 4/29, 5/9, 6/3, and 6/6. Sign up here. Are you part of a group that would like City Staff to make a presentation on RCV? Info here.
Crime-Free Ordinance workgroup: In 2008, the SLP City Council voted to implement a Crime-Free/Drug Free Rental Housing ordinance to address concerns about disorderly or criminal activity in some of the rental housing in the city. Ten years later, in 2018, council directed staff to conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation of the ordinance in response to concerns about potential unintended consequences of the ordinance, including unfair/unnecessary lease terminations. A workgroup is now being formed to study the ordinance and stakeholders are encouraged to apply. Stipends will be provided to participants. Application deadline is March 15.
Food Insecurity in SLP: The St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) and the St. Louis Park Community Education Advisory Commission (CEAC) are co-hosting an event called “Food Insecurity: A Hidden Reality in St. Louis Park.” The event will take place Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8:30 pm, Lenox Community Center Cafeteria. Bring a donation for STEP! More info on the event here. The City has also contracted with Wilder Research to study food insecurity in St. Louis Park; watch for more on this when the study is complete.
First Sunday Meetups: My March meetup is TODAY, March 3, from 3-4:30pm at the Birchwood warming house, 2701 Zarthan Ave. S. The topic will be "Housing Density – duplexes, accessory dwelling units, and more." Next meetup will be Sunday, April 7, 3-4:30 pm, at the Birchwood warming house. All are welcome!
Thanks for reading and please stay in touch!