Board Supports Revised Crosswalk Plan
Friday, April 20, 2018 11:20 AM

lexington_crossing-update.jpg

The District 10 Board voted May 15 to support a revised crosswalk plan for Lexington Parkway between the lakeside pavilion and golf course. In April, the board voted to oppose an earlier plan, saying it needed safety improvements, or should not be built at all.

The revised plan moves the crosswalk about 40 feet north of the original location and adds a flashing, pedestrian-activated warning light. Alice Messer, manager of design and construction for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, told board members that moving the crosswalk several car lengths' north should provide better sight lines for northbound drivers coming up the hill and around the curve south of the golf course parking lot. The amber, pedestrian-activated warning beacon is designed to prompt drivers to stop when people are crossing.

Parks and Recreation made the changes after walking the site with District 10 representatives, who questioned whether the original design was safe enough, whether it would create a false sense of security, and whether sight lines gave drivers time to stop for pedestrians and other drivers. The crosswalk cannot go any farther north on the golf course side, Messer says, because it would cost too much to work around an electrical box and the steep slope on that side of Lexington.

Construction is expected to start Nov. 7 and take three days. During construction, that stretch of Lexington will close (though there will be access to the golf course from the south and to the Pavilion parking lot from the north).

Making the details work
The crosswalk would create a clear way to get back and forth on foot or bicycle between the Lakeside Pavilion / Spring Cafe and the Como Park golf clubhouse / ski center / Cozy’s Pub. It will meet a long-standing need, especially for people who park on one side of Lexington but scramble across the parkway to attend events on the other side,
Messer says. The need for a better connection is officially identified in the 2011 Como Transportation Plan. In a 2017 survey by District 10 of more than 700 residents, 89 percent supported the idea of making it safer and easier to get from one side of Lexington to the other without relying on an automobile.

The crosswalk originally was supposed to be installed last fall, but Parks and Recreation could not get a contractor to build it within budget. That delay prompted residents and District 10 committee members to re-evaluate the design. District 10's Land Use committee surveyed residents again and, ultimately, asked for changes.

What's in the plans
The proposal from Parks and Recreation:

  • Constructs a 10-foot wide, curbed median on Lexington, intended in part to slow down traffic. The raised median would replace an existing painted median, which stretches from the driveway entering the golf course parking lot to the driveway for the Lakeside Pavilion’s north parking lot.
  • Builds a 6-foot wide, marked crosswalk on Lexington, with a pedestrian refuge on the median (see the diagram above). In addition to the pedestrian-activated beacon, standard warning signs will be mounted at the crosswalk and 300 feet ahead of the crosswalk, to give drivers notice of the crossing.
  • Limits traffic lanes to 12 feet wide. Turn access in and out of the two parking lots will not be affected.
  • Plants the median with trees that will not obstruct drivers’ sightlines -- probably hybrid elm, Messer says.
  • Builds a spur on the lake side of Lexington to connect the crosswalk with the existing bicycle path on that side.
  • Connects the crosswalk on the golf course side of Lexington with a new sidewalk and pedestrian ramps that lead to the parking lot.
  • Meets all grade and access standards required by federal disability laws.

The speed limit through the area will be 25 mph (although a 2015 traffic study found the typical speed is higher).

District 10 also wants Parks and Recreation to build a new sidewalk connecting the crosswalk from Lexington all the way to the existing path that leads from the parking lot to the clubhouse. Messer says that if bonding money comes through from the Legislature, a new sidewalk could be incorporated into plans to reconstruct the golf course parking lot.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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