Mounds View street project sparks controversy

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A plan to revitalize and restructure a road in Mounds View is being met with pushback by neighbors.

In the city’s upcoming street project plan, there’s a proposal to revamp Spring Lake Road.

“We like the street just the way it is and we don’t want it to change,” Brandi Gapinski, a resident who lives on the street, said.

It’s a Spring Lake Road staple: a sea of trees stretching down the road forming a canopy over Gapinski’s home.

"My daughter takes pictures of the change of every season right here. She loves to take the pictures down the street of the whole canopy,” she said.

But soon, the family may have to find a new seasonal backdrop.

“Per the city, we’re going to lose potentially 38 trees on this street, which creates almost our entire canopy,” Gapinksi said.

The 2022 to 2023 Mounds View street project plan includes adding a curb and gutter, reaction lane and possibly grouped mailboxes.

The west side of the street may also see a sidewalk or trail with an addition of green space.

The makeover also includes shifting and realigning the roads, which means cutting down trees to make room.

"I don’t know who would want that. I don’t want that,” Gapinski said.

Some neighbors are in support of the project.

"I’m for the project completely,” Gary Rundle, another resident who lives on Spring Lake Road, said.

Rundle is on the city’s planning commission but said he doesn’t have any influence on the project.

“I’m on the economic development commission but that has nothing to do with roads,” he said.

Rundle said a sidewalk would increase safety on the block.

“My son almost got dragged by a city bus one day being right in our yard,” he said.

He said a tree at the expense of human life is a fair trade.

"That’s sad. I hate to see any tree go but they are on city property. They are on the boulevard, they’re going to try and save what they can,” Rundle said. “Still, safety is No. 1. It has to be priority.”

The city administrator told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that replacing some of the trees is a part of the plan. The city explained they are in the right of way to make changes to the land that they own.

The city council will make a decision on the street portion of the project during an Oct. 15 meeting.

The council will then discuss if a sidewalk or trail would be added in February of 2022.