St. Paul residents continue debate over Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan

St. Paul residents packed the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting Thursday evening, ready to give their opinions on the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan.

People spoke both in favor of and against the plan.

No votes or recommendations will be made about the plan Thursday. Parks and Recreation staff gave a presentation to the commission to give them more information and answer questions, which was followed by public comment.

As previously reported, St. Paul Parks and Rec officials proposed building a 4.5-mile bike path on Summit Ave. to protect bicyclists. It would include a raised bike path separated from the road by a curb.

RELATED: St. Paul’s Summit Avenue bike path plan met with safety, preservation debate

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported 283 crashes on Summit Avenue between 2015 and 2019.

Critics of the plan point out that building the bike path would knock out a number of trees whose roots are planted under the street.

Another issue is parking. The plan would have a portion of Summit Avenue go from two-sided parking to one-sided.

If approved, construction would still be about five years out.

The plan is scheduled to be voted on at the May 24 City Council meeting.

Learn more about the proposed plan here.