The Saint Paul Planning Commission’s Transportation Committee reviewed the latest plans on October 18 to rebuild the half-mile stretch of Edgcumbe Road between Fairview and Saint Paul avenues in 2022.
Bike lanes and sidewalks will be added, along with new pavement, concrete curbs and gutters, driveway aprons, pedestrian ramps, upgraded utilities and resodded boulevards. Some trees will have to be removed and replaced, and old wooden light poles will be replaced with new lantern-style street lights. The work is to start in the summer and be complete by November.
Neighbors met earlier this fall to review ideas with city staff. The Highland District Council’s Transportation Committee will also meet virtually at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 9, to discuss the work.
Saint Paul Department of Public Works project manager Barbara Mundahl said that stretch of Edgcumbe presents “unique safety challenges” due to steep hills, bends and especially wide intersections at Howell Street and Hampshire Avenue.
Edgcumbe Road is a designated parkway. The section in the project area has 120 feet of right-of-way starting at Fairview. Parts of the east side of Edgcumbe have steep slopes that make adding sidewalks impractical.
Kevin Gallatin, a former HDC chairman and current member of the city’s Transportation Committee, praised the plans.
“I love that sidewalks will be provided on the west side, particularly since the street is heavily used by pedestrians,” he said. “Edgcumbe and Fairview are really busy due to the connection to Highway 5, so it’s important to use design to signal that this is a neighborhood street.”
“I love that sidewalks will be provided on the west side, particularly since the street is heavily used by pedestrians,” Kevin Gallatin said. “Edgcumbe and Fairview are really busy due to the connection to Highway 5, so it’s important to use design to signal that this is a neighborhood street.”
The project will involve dropping a lane on Edgcumbe north of Saint Paul Avenue, narrowing the street’s driving lane width, making wider bike lanes, and reducing asphalt at Howell. “All of these changes will make Edgcumbe safer and more comfortable for all users,” Gallatin said.
Between Fairview and Howell, Edgcumbe currently has one 22-foot driving lane in each direction, with planting strips of 40 feet on the west side and 36 feet on the east. The plan calls for adding a 6-foot sidewalk on the west side, with 10 feet of boulevard between the sidewalk and street. The street would have a 7-foot bike lane on each side and 11-foot driving lanes.
City staff have heard some opposition to plans to eliminate the slip lane at the Edgcumbe and Hampshire intersection by Zeilingold Triangle. The little park was recently named in honor of Rabbi Asher Zeilingold, who has served Saint Paul’s Jewish community for almost six decades. He and his wife, Sima, serve at Adath Israel Synagogue adjacent to the triangle.
The section of Edgcumbe between Howell and Sunny Slope Lane currently has two 22-foot driving lanes and a 5-foot sidewalk on the west side. The sidewalk bisects a planting strip that is 14 feet on one side and 20 feet closer to the street.
The proposed redesign would retain the 14-foot planting strip closest to homes and increase the sidewalk width to 6 feet. The planting strip between the sidewalk and street would be 28 feet. The existing 36-foot planting strip on the east side will remain. Edgcumbe would have a 7-foot bike lane on either side along that stretch, and two 11-foot driving lanes.
Between Sunny Slope and Saint Paul Avenue, Edgcumbe has two lanes in each direction and a 36-foot-wide center median. Each side of the street currently has a 6-foot sidewalk and a 10-foot planting strip. The west side has 13- and 15-foot driving lanes, and the east side has 12- and 13 foot driving lanes.
The new configuration would reduce the median to 35 feet. Sidewalks would remain at 6 feet. Each side of the street would have a 7-foot bike lane and 12-foot driving lane. The west side would have a 19-foot planting strip, with 16 feet on the east side.
The northeast, northwest and southeast corners of Saint Paul Avenue and Edgcumbe will have corner bumpouts installed.
— Jane McClure
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