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Some residents in St. Louis Park bracing for a bike lane battle

Updated: February 11, 2020 06:23 PM

Residents along Wooddale Avenue in St. Louis Park are bracing for a battle over bike lanes.

The city of St. Louis Park is considering a plan that would add bike lanes with parking bays along Wooddale Avenue. According to the city, 10 trees would be lost in the process, as well as 50 parking spots.

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According to a statement from a city spokesperson, the project is part of a "10-year plan to add more bikeways, sidewalks and trails throughout the community." The goal of the project is to "enhance walking and biking in the city by connecting destinations such as parks, businesses, the rec center and the cities of Edina and Minneapolis."

The statement also said the city did a parking study along the avenue and observed that most spaces are not used at all times.

But a growing number of residents have concerns with the plan. They say they want bicyclists and pedestrians along Woodale Avenue, but the proposed plan would make the avenue cramped, not as safe and not as livable.

Close to 1,700 people have signed a petition against the proposed changes. JC Beckstrand is a member of the group Wooddale/Browndale Citizens For Safe Streets.

"It shouldn't be a singular focus of trying to fit a size 12 solution into a size six shoe, and that's one of the challenges we've got. We don't think this is going to add to the safety," he said.

There's a public hearing on the topic on Feb. 18th, and the council could vote as early as March 2nd. You can find more information here.

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Ellen Galles

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