Those industrial users are gone and leaving Blake Road through Hopkins extremely overbuilt for current and future needs. The study includes planning for the SWLRT station. The presented study addresses infrastructure needs to:
June 25th there was an open house to the pubic, held at Eisenhower Elementary School, shuttle busses were provided to offer access to the lower income Westside Village Apartments. I attended this and listened in on others as much as I gave feedback. Another Open House will be coming where the proposed alternative designs will be presented. There were a lot of voices expressing hope for improved bike facilities along Blake. Just looking at Blake and you can see why everyone also hammered home how awful crossing Blake is for pedestrians and cyclists along the entire length, and for cars at Lake St. and entering and leaving Westside Village. I was surprised the number of people hoping for traffic circles at Lake St. and at 2nd St. NE. Amazingly the study even presents a roundabout alternative.• Provide better accommodations for pedestrians, bicyclists, and bus users
• Provide better connections and access to the planned light rail station at Blake Road and 2nd Street for all modes
• Provide better connections and access to adjacent neighborhoods, commercial nodes, and recreational facilities
• Provide the necessary transportation infrastructure to support redevelopment in and near the corridor that will enhance economic growth, community connectivity, and residential diversity
Late fall 2014 a final alternative will be presented. Winter 2014/15 the final implementation plan and final report will be prepared. Currently according to the latest capital improvement document the city of Hopkins is budgeting $10,000,000 over 2017-18 for construction, to be completed before SWLRT arrives.
I've grabbed a few of the b/w attachments the consultants included in the packet given to the city council. Wish they were clearer, but they are what they are. I hope to attend the coming work session on Tuesday Sept 9th, but we'll see.
Complete by xeoth, on Flickr
This looks like one of the complete alternatives, I like it because you can see all that has changed and is in the current pipeline of development. The future LRT station, with proposed apartments wrapped around parking. Some imagined dense housing on the Cold Storage property. The Cottageville Park project. PPL's Oxford Green affordable apartments. And at the corner of Cambridge the abandoned BP gas station and vacant lot converted into a busy restaurant strip (Five Guys, Pizza Rev, etc.)
Note: Amid the cluster of five small apartments between Lake and Hiawatha is a small plain building housing a Met Council pump station I was told. It needs replacement/upgrading soon, maybe even enlarging. At the June open house the corridor maps plotted these five apartments as a high density redevelopment opportunity because Met Council might need to take one apartment for the pump station. Thought is the owner of the five apartments might rather sell all five rather than one.
Traffic Circle alternative by xeoth, on Flickr
The Roundabout alternative. You can see how much space they take, they're huge. Also clear is how far the bike accommodations would be needed to make way around them. I'm fond of the traffic circle option, but the space considerations made me double take.
Median Break at Hill Street by xeoth, on Flickr
Westside Village Apartments are in a very tough position. Excelsior Blvd was reconstructed and blocked entrance from eastbound Excelsior. Now reconstruction of Blake looks to block entrance from southbound Blake. Seriously screwed. So one alternative keeps a crossing at "Hill Street". You can witness any given moment residents of Westside scampering across Blake to the grocer, Goodwill, and restaurants on the west side of Blake. Part of the danger isn't so much the pedestrians taking the desire route directly across, but that Excelsior westbound has a high speed pork chop island turn lane. Cars coming from Excelsior are at high speed going around the corner. Happily all alternatives so far remove the pork chop turns. Above is an alternative with a proper pedestrian crossing with the entrance to Westside preserved.