Archive | April, 2013

Southwest LRT Open House – Event Summary

22 Apr

This was the summary from SOHer Mark Reuter who attended the recent Southwest LRT open house:

Due to the foul weather, turnout seemed to be quite small. Only three of us were there primarily for the Louisiana station. Staff and elected representatives from St Louis PArk, Hennepin County, the Met Council, Southwest Light Rail Transit planning office, TSAAP (station area planning), and MnDOT were on hand and leading discussions about each of the three SLP stations: Louisiana, Wooddale and Beltline.

Being that the meeting was about station planning, the primary questions revolved around concerns in the immediate station areas: traffic issues, redevelopment of the surrounding areas, noise, crime, etc. How would you get to the station (walk/bike/drive/drop off and what route would you take) and where would you go? The city council is going to be briefed about the results at their study session tonight and I’ll see if anything interesting is said that I missed.

The Louisiana station location seems to be a bit up in the air right now. The original plan called for it to be located on the current Cedar Lake Trail/CP Bass Lake spur line on the east side of Louisiana (ie just south of Sam’s Club). Station Planning is also looking at two other locations: one at the intersection of Oxford and Louisiana and the other where the switching wye crosses Louisiana. These two locations are closer to the major employer in the area, Methodist Hospital, and allow for more redevelopment right next to the station (since Sam’s Club isn’t going anywhere). Incidentally this also moves them further away from all of the apartments North of Hwy 7. The two new locations would also involve at-grade crossings of Louisiana. The original location would need stairs/elevators/ramps to reach the elevated station. The switching wye location would require a replacement southern connection for the freight rail to be built.

Comment cards are available for people to mail in more thoughts and concerns.

Also, the SLP Planning department is involved in forming a sort of advisory committee for the Louisiana area station which I offered to take part in. I’ll let everyone know what happens with that as well.

The website http://www.southwesttransitway.org will be updated at some point here with more information from the open houses.

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Links Worth Checking Out

17 Apr

Here are some links that South Oak Hill residents might appreciate given the season and the noticeable construction projects in the areas

City Regulations about Door-to-Door Solicitationhttp://www.stlouispark.org/crime-prevention/door-to-door-solicitors.html

  • This includes information about door-to-door sales and fundraising.

Southwest LRT: http://www.swlrt.org

  • The Southwest LRT will pass immediately south of the South Oak Hill area.
  • Plans call for a couple stations nearby and possibly a maintenance facility.
  • More information will be available at an Open House on Thursday, April 18, from 5:30-7:30p at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.

City Construction Projects (including road construction): http://www.stlouispark.org/construction-updates.html

  • This is a pretty good resource when you see a construction project and want to learn a little bit more about it. (It’s one of my go-to resources)

Hwy 7/Louisiana Re-Construction: http://www.stlouispark.org/construction-updates/highway-7-louisiana-avenue-interchange-project.html and http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy7stlouispark/index.html

  • Portions of this project are already underway and is scheduled to be completed next year.
  • This project will affect access into and out of South Oak Hill from our eastern entrance. 

Minnehaha Creek Reach 20 Projecthttp://www.minnehahacreek.org/project/minnehaha-creek-reach-20-remeander

  •  The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has completed a couple of re-meandering projects near our neighborhood and is currently planning on aesthetic improvements for this important waterway that runs across South Oak Hill’s southwestern corner.

Blake Corridor: http://www.blakeroad.org/index.html

  • The Blake Corridor abuts South Oak Hill along its western edge.
  • There’s a substantial collaborative effort to improve the quality of life in this area of Hopkins.

Hwy 7 and Louisiana Interchange Project

9 Apr

Curious about what is going on with work in and around Highway 7 and Louisiana Avenue? One of the best places to start is on the city website. Here’s a link to the page about the project: http://www.stlouispark.org/construction-updates/highway-7-louisiana-avenue-interchange-project.html.

Here’s what the page says about current and immediate future work:

Current Status
Although work on the interchange project won’t begin until late May or early June, private utilities are now working to relocate their facilities before the start of road construction. Xcel Energy is currently working to place the overhead power lines along Highway 7 and along Lake Street near Louisiana Avenue below ground. Construction of an underground duct system beneath Lake Street is also taking place. The underground duct system will run between Monitor Street and the Frontage Road intersection with Lake Street just west of Louisiana Avenue.

Lane closures and detours will be required on Lake Street during this construction. Appropriate signage will be placed to direct traffic. The work is being constructed in three stages: 1st stage includes work east of Louisiana on Lake Street (this work is nearly complete), 2nd stage includes work west of Louisiana Avenue (beginning April 8 for approximately two weeks), and the 3rd stage will include work in the intersection of Louisiana and Lake Street. Staff is currently evaluating weekend closure of the Louisiana and Lake Street intersection to minimize traffic impacts. The complete intersection closure, if approved, would likely occur on the Weekend of April 27-28

Questions regarding the Highway 7 & Louisiana Avenue Interchange project should be directed to: Jim Olson, Project Manager, City of St. Louis Park, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, MN 55416, or by phone at 952.924.2552, or jolson@stlouispark.org.

The page also includes links to a couple of other websites where you can find even more information.

Southwest LRT Update: Potential Maintenance Facility nearby

8 Apr

Over on the Facebook group, SOHer Mark Reuter posted a copy of this presentation. It may interest some of you as that a location near South Oak Hill is being considered for the new line’s maintenance facility.

As Mark puts it:

“Four of them are right next to South Oak Hill on the South side of the railroad tracks. At the end of April, they plan on narrowing down the list to five or six locations and then hold open houses in May for the cities that have a proposed site…these are potential sites and they may be eliminated when the list gets narrowed down at the end of April.

Councilperson Mavity mentioned that the city is opposed to a facility in the municipality, primarily due to potential noise and level of traffic.

Here’s the presentation: SW-CMC-MC-PRES-20130403

FYI
*Page 38 is the start of the section on the OMF
*Pages 50-52 show the four locations next to South Oak Hill and a fifth location also in SLP.

2013 Grant Application Details

4 Apr

Welcome to spring SOHers! As you may recall, neighborhood grants are due tomorrow. Below is a link that includes what we will have in our grant this year.

SOH Grant Web

Looking forward to another great year of neighborhood activities. Feel free to contact me with any question at 612-850-9030 or ccolincox@mac.com.