Planned Improvements to Hamline Ave: Join the Conversation

Posted on April 6, 2016 - 1:35pm

Next Opportunity to Join the Conversation: 

Saint Paul City Council will hold a public hearing for proposed improvements to Hamline Ave. sometime in July. Stay tuned for specific date, time and location.

In the meantime...

Take this short survey about potential improvements to Hamline Avenue


Hamline Ave 2016 Project Information

The City of St. Paul is proposing improvements to Hamline Ave. between University and Minnehaha Aves. in late 2016, as part of regularly scheduled street maintenance. The proposed work will involve removing and replacing the top layer of pavement; updating non-ADA compliant pedestrian ramps; installing in-street bicycle lanes; and removing parking from one side of the street. 

This vital neighborhood route serves five schools, public housing, and a vibrant business community. As the neighborhood continues to grow, many neighbors have raised concerns about safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike, on Hamline Ave. This project offers the community an opportunity to create a safer, more vibrant route that serves all road users.

Hamline Ave is identified as a key bike route in the Citywide Bike Plan, which was adopted in early 2015. The City’s current strategy is to implement segments of the Bike Plan in conjunction with scheduled mill and overlay and other road construction projects as they occur. As part of the Hamline Ave. project, the city has proposed in-street separated bike lanes between University and Minnehaha Avenues. Due to the width of the road, on-street parking would be removed from one side of the street to accomodate the new lanes. 

The Department of Public Works recently completed a parking utilization study (attached at the bottom of this page) that found much of the on-street parking throughout most of the project area to be underutilized. They concluded the remaining on-street parking on Hamline and adjacent side streets would be sufficient to accommodate existing parking demands.

Parking demand was notably higher around the business node near Hamline and Thomas Aves., though was still underutilized even at peak times. The parking study similarly determined that existing parking in that area would still be sufficient to satisfy the demand should on-street parking be removed from one side.

Minnehaha to Pierce Butler

Despite not being included in the original project, the Department of Public Works has also presented the community with the opportunity to inform the decision of whether to install some form of bike infrastructure on Hamline Ave. from Minnehaha to Pierce Butler Route—another important bike route that serves the neighborhood. This section of Hamline also connects to the pedestrian bridge that crosses the train tracks North of Pierce Butler, which is the only dedicated railway crossing between Lexington Ave. and Snelling Ave.

Because this section of Hamline is narrower than the southern section, some types of bicycle infrastructure would require removal of on street parking from both sides of the street.

The way the road is currently configured, it appears much wider than a typical residential street due to the low on-street parking demand. When few cars are parked on the north section of Hamline, the apparent wide road encourages speeding, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers. Installing bike lanes is a proven way to visually narrow the road, and naturally encourage safer driving speeds. 

While bike infrastructure will likely eventually be installed on this north section of Hamline Ave. as outlined in the Bike Plan, it is not scheduled for construction work anytime soon. This is an opportunity for the Hamline Midway community to determine the immediate future of Hamline Ave, and to help influence the safety and type of street it can be and how it serves the surrounding neighborhood.

We recognize that Hamline Ave. as currently configured poses significant safety risks to many in our community, but are also sensitive to the fact that the loss of some on-street parking can be troubling to others. We plan to facilitate a productive community conversation about neighbors’ priorities for this important route and determine how best to balance the needs and safety of all road users. We hope you will join the conversation by attending a public meeting, filling out the online survey at the top of this page, sharing your thoughts with the project contacts listed below, and respectfully sharing your personal priorities with us, as well as your neighbors, friends and families.

Past public meetings

Thursday, May 26, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Sejong Academy, 1330 Blair Ave.
Public Works hosted an open house about proposed improvements to Hamline Ave. 

Wednesday, April 27, 7:00 p.m., at Galtier Community School, 1317 Charles Ave.
The Hamline Midway Coalition Transportation Committee hosted a community conversation around proposed improvements to Hamline Ave.

Who to Contact:

Have thoughts you'd like to share about this project? In addition to completing the survey linked at the top of this page, here are a few people you can respectfully share your input with.

Kyle Mianulli, Hamline Midway Coalition Director of Communications and Engagement | , 651-494-7683
Luke Hanson, Department of Poublic Works, Project Manager, luke.hanson[at][dot]us, 651-266-6146
Paul St. Martin, Department of Public Works, Assistant City Engineer |[at][dot]us, 651-266-6118
Ward 4 City Council Office | ward4[at][dot]us, 651-266-8640