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Transportation Committee

Our Transportation Committee meets on the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. A link to the committee agenda will be posted on the UPDC Facebook page one week before the meeting. Past agendas and minutes can be found here.

The Transportation Committee advocates for the transportation objectives outlined in the Union Park Community Plan.  The Committee addresses roadway design, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian access and infrastructure, traffic safety, transportation aspects of development projects and other topics. The Transportation Committee makes recommendations to the UPDC Board, and to the UPDC Committee on Land Use and Economic Development on transportation elements of development projects.

Everyone is welcome to attend committee meetings. Email wako@unionparkdc.org to sign up for the monthly e-mailing list and receive agendas, minutes, and the Zoom link. If you are interested in joining the Committee, you’ll need to attend three consecutive meetings to become a voting member. Learn more about joining a committee here.

Learn more about Transportation and planning terms, projects happening in Union Park, and answers to frequently asked questions here.​

For information about how to get around in Union Park, go here.

You can learn more about our current and past work below.

Ongoing Committee Topics:

  • Planning for the future reconstruction of I-94 through Saint Paul

  • Review of the transportation elements of major development proposals in Union Park

  • Proposed changes / improvements to Metro Transit bus service

  • Responding to community concerns about traffic, bicycle and pedestrian issues, traffic safety

Recent Committee Topics

Southbound lane of MRB converted to temporary bike and pedestrian use

In April, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced road conversions for 2021 on four popular roadways throughout the city. Lanes on selected roads have been converted from motor vehicle traffic use to pedestrian and bicycle use to increase recreational opportunities and promote social distancing. 

Mississippi River Boulevard (MRB) — from Ford Parkway to Pelham Boulevard — is included in the conversion. The southbound traffic lane is closed to motorized vehicles, while the northbound vehicle lane remains open to vehicular traffic and driveway access.

The closure started in mid-April and lasts through mid-July. In addition to MRB, the following streets were converted:

  • Como Regional Park: East Como Lake Drive from East Como Boulevard to Lexington Parkway

  • Phalen Regional Park: East Shore Drive from Johnson Parkway to Arlington Avenue

  • Cherokee Heights: Cherokee Heights Boulevard from Baker/Chippewa to Annapolis Street.

Earlier this year, the Transportation Committee of Union Park District Council held a public engagement process soliciting feedback from residents, including those who live on or near MRB, about a future lane conversion on the roadway.

Opinions ran strongly both for and against lane conversion, though conversion was favored by a majority of the more than 200 respondents, including the Desnoyer Park Improvement Association. UPDC sent a letter to the city in late April summarizing the engagement process but making no recommendation.

“Now more than ever, safe outdoor spaces for recreation and exercise are critical to our collective health and wellbeing,” Mayor Carter said in a statement. “We invite our residents, workers and visitors to join us in utilizing these spaces as we move through these challenging times together.”

For more information about Union Park’s MRB engagement process, contact info@unionparkdc.org.


Reconstruction of I-94

MnDOT has begun planning for the reconstruction of I-94

MnDOT will be starting the first major rebuild of I-94 since the highway first opened in the 1960s. When it was built, homes and businesses all along the corridor were removed. The heart of the Rondo neighborhood lost 700 homes, 300 businesses and $35 million in intergenerational wealth. Union Park also lost business districts and many homes.

Late last year, the Union Park District Council, along with 25 other community organizations signed onto both a community flyer and a letter to MnDOT about the project. UPDC called for less traffic and safer crossings – a quieter, greener, healthier corridor overall.

In February, the Saint Paul City Council also passed a strong resolution opposing adding any new lanes and calling on MnDOT to provide economic opportunities to local businesses, especially BIPOC- and women-owned, and reduce traffic volumes, leading to improved air quality, better health outcomes and reduced noise.

Later this year, MnDOT will be adopting the official “Purpose and Need Statement” for the project, which will guide the planning and study of project alternatives going forward. Public comments will be important!

To learn more, attend the monthly meeting of the UPDC transportation committee (second Monday of every month at 6:30 pm). If you would like a community speaker to address a group of neighbors or a civic organization about I-94 planning, email wako@unionparkdc.org

Link to the stakeholder letter

Link to the City resolution


City Council approves Ayd Mill Road with new bike/ped trail

On August 1st the City of St. Paul began the repaving and redesign of Ayd Mill Road.

In the fall of 2019, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced that Ayd Mill Road will be resurfaced into a “complete street” as part of a mill-and-overlay project in 2020. On April 22, 2020 the City Council voted 4 to 3 to fund the $7.5 million project.

The city's plan as approved and currently under construction will retain two lanes of southbound traffic and convert the northbound lanes into one lane for vehicles and a two way separated trail for bicycles and pedestrians. The project also includes major sewer work, improved left turn lanes, improved lighting, and a mill and overlay of the road.

At its meeting on December 4, 2019, the Union Park District Council (UPDC) voted unanimously to support Mayor Carter’s plan for Ayd Mill Road. The Mayor’s plan was also supported unanimously by our Transportation Committee and by community members who completed a preference ballot at the Transportation Committee meeting on November 11, 2019. The full resolution passed by both committees can be read here.

A timeline of Ayd Mill Road going back to the 1960's can be found here. Current and historical traffic volumes can be found here. Additional relevant information can be read here.


Metro B-Line

The METRO B Line is Metro Transit's planned bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will provide faster and more reliable transit service in the Route 21 corridor along Lake Street and Marshall Avenue. Bus rapid transit provides a faster trip and an improved rider experience on the busiest bus routes. BRT routes have improved signage, faster boarding, more frequent service, a faster trip (with fewer stops and signal priority) and a more comfortable ride.

Each weekday, customers take more than 10,000 rides on Route 21, Metro Transit’s second busiest bus route. Buses carry approximately 20% of people traveling by vehicle on Lake Street today and make up less than 2% of vehicle traffic. But Lake Street is also one of the slowest transit corridors in the region. During rush hours, buses regularly slow to average speeds of 8 miles per hour. Frequent stops, lines of customers waiting to board, and red lights mean that buses are moving less than half the time.

You can read more about the B-Line here. You can read comments UPDC has approved as a full board here.

This project needs state bond funding from the Minnesota legislature to be implemented. Metro Transit is asking for bonding dollars for this and other capital projects during the 2020 legislative session.


2020 Transportation Committee Work Plan

The Transportation Committee approved its 2020 Work Plan in February of 2020 as part of UPDC's Community Engagement Contract with the City of Saint Paul. The 2019 Work Plan was approved by the Board of Directors in March and can be read here.


I-94 Reconstruction Planning

Since 2016, MnDOT has been working with neighborhoods, community groups, district councils, local governments and others interested in the future reconstruction of I-94 between St. Paul and Minneapolis. MnDOT has called this process Rethinking I-94. This process will guide future planning design and identify specific construction projects and their timelines. The goals of the study included:

Learning more about how I-94 is used by residents, and forecasting travel demands.

  • Producing a long-term, community-based approach to understand the needs of the area around I-94.

  • Gaining a stronger understanding of the structural conditions of I-94, including its bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure.

  • Determining how to best address the mobility needs of and around the freeway.

You can find an interactive map on the Rethinking I-94 page to add comments on your experience with the freeway or read the experiences of others. Union Park hosted MnDOT staff to discuss the project; you can review some of the information discussed in a Q&A with MnDOT. UPDC collaborated with Met Council and MnDOT to host engagement in 2018 along the corridor to hear more from residents on desired changes along the corridor.

Brenda Thomas of MnDOT presented on the work completed in Phase 1 of their Rethinking I-94 Iniative and on the plans for Phase 2, which will take place from 2018 to 2020/2021. The presentation is available here.

Dale Gade of MnDOT was present to answer questions on current MnDOT projects on I-94 while Phase 2 of Rethinking I-94 progresses. In 2019, MnDOT completed a Mill & Overlay for sections of I-94; more information is available here. More information on Phase 1 of Rethinking I-94 is available here.

Union Park concerns about and comments on MnDOT's "Purpose and Needs" statement and Statement of Goals" were identified in a memo passed by the UP Transportation Committee on January 13th 2020 and the Executive Committee of UPDC on January 15th, 2020. The memo can be read here.


2040 Comprehensive Plan - Saint Paul for All

The City of Saint Paul has released the draft of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan - Saint Paul For All. The public comment period ended on January 11, 2019. More information on the Plan can be found here.

The 10 Year Plan, completed in 2016 by UPDC that informs the Comprehensive Plan, can be found here.


See older Transportation Committee topics and projects