Designs for Como Ave. Trail Move Forward
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 3:55 PM

cat-hamline-snelling.jpg
This is the recommended reconfiguration of the Como Ave. right-of-way between Hamline and Arona.

The latest design for the proposed Como Avenue Trail retains parking on both sides of Como between Hamline and Snelling, which was one of the options initially proposed in January. (District 10's Land Use Committee will discuss whether or not to make a recommendation on the proposal at its monthly meeting Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Historic Streetcar Station.) An overview:

Between Hamline and Snelling
The design recommended by city engineers shifts bike lanes to an off-street trail on the north boulevard, as originally proposed. As a result, the project narrows the asphalt portion of the street without reducing its vehicle capacity. The narrower street should have the added benefit of making it easier for pedestrians to cross Como north-south.

  • On the north side of Como, the design keeps the sidewalk where it is. The design then extends the grass boulevard farther south in order to keep most of the existing trees; add a 10-foot wide, 2-way bike trail; and create a new, 5-foot wide grass boulevard for street lights and snow storage. For greater visibility and safety, there will be raised (or “tabled”) pavement where the trail and sidewalk cross east-west Pascal and Arona. Overall, the sidewalk and boulevard widen from their current width of 22 feet to what the design calls a “pedestrian realm” of 34 feet.
  • The street itself narrows from its current width of 50 feet to 38 feet. That’s still wide enough to accommodate an 8-foot parking lane on each side of Como, and an 11-foot driving lane in each direction.
  • The south side of Como will remain essentially unchanged, with the existing sidewalk and boulevard where they are.
  • There is a modified configuration between Arona and Snelling; that accommodates the existing parking and median near the Como-Snelling business district.

West of Snelling

  • The off-street trail remains on the north side of Como along the State Fairgrounds. But the trail widens to 12 feet to handle both cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Between Snelling and the university’s transit way, Como Ave. will be 48 feet wide – accommodating one lane of vehicle traffic in both directions, an on-street bicycle lanes in each direction, and a center turn lane. That’s generally 10 feet narrower than the existing configuration.
  • During the two weeks of the State Fair, this stretch will be restriped to handle two vehicle lanes in each direction, similar to what occurs now.

Between the transit way and Cleveland

  • The 12-foot-wide, off-street trail remains on the north side of Como along the University of Minnesota’s Saint Paul campus. The street will remain pretty much as it is now: one lane of vehicle traffic in each direction, parking on each side of Como, and an on-street bike lane in each direction.

The work, part of building out Saint Paul's 27-mile Grand Round, is scheduled for 2020 and 2021. Federal funds are paying for most of the work. The project is part of a larger reconstruction of Como Ave. from Hamline west to the Cleveland/Raymond intersection.

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

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