Why Snelling Avenue?
The Greater St. Paul area has made a lot of progress in providing more options for people to get around by foot and bicycle. However, Snelling Avenue currently isn’t pedestrian and bicyclist friendly. This matters because it is a critical regional north-south connection. There are no other crossings over the railroad tracks for one mile in each direction.
Designing for Comfort & Ease
The project team is recommending investments that would change the way pedestrians and bicyclists interact with vehicle traffic. The proposed design features dedicated, high quality facilities throughout the corridor: widened sidewalks and one-way, 7-foot bikeways with six-foot raised buffers between bicycles and vehicles. This design would help users safely and conveniently reach their destination without competing for space with faster or slower traffic, and increase the likelihood that the facilities would be used. One-way bikeways help make routes more predictable. Bicyclists would be either on-street or off-street, depending on where they are riding within the corridor. At times, pedestrians and bicyclists would have a shared-use trail, but much of the corridor will feature dedicated facilities, which is more comfortable for current and potential users.
There are real safety concerns for bicyclists and pedestrians attempting to share Snelling Avenue with vehicle and large truck traffic. More than 42,000 vehicles use this corridor every day. Corridor improvements will be designed for 40 mph traffic movement. Intentional design details will create a more street-like feel so drivers are more likely to slow down. This includes narrower travel lanes and replacing the barrier wall in the middle of the road with a raised median.