Feedback sought on walkability near Central Corridor LRT

LRT work
Construction workers made progress on the Central Corridor light rail line at Cedar and Seventh streets in St. Paul in a February 2012 file photo. A community group is trying to gauge how pedestrians feel about access to the future LRT stations.
MPR Photo/Alex Kolyer

A community group is asking residents near the Central Corridor light rail line to rate the pedestrian experience to and from the future stations.

The District Councils Collaborative of St. Paul and Minneapolis is into its fourth week of a so-called "walkability survey." The project is designed to gather feedback on pedestrian routes that people will take between their homes or offices and the LRT stops.

Executive Director Carol Swenson says her group wants to identify possible barriers to walking. "And we're really also trying to pay close attention to issues relating to access for the disability community," Swenson says. "A lot of the sidewalks really aren't up to par on that front."

Swenson says one challenging area is a stretch of Dale Street between Interstate 94 and University Avenue. (University is the main artery for the LRT route.)

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"It's not a very friendly place to be as a pedestrian," she said. "It really is oriented to the car, and about squeezing as many cars through that intersection as possible. There might be a need to rethink how we approach that and start giving the drivers a lot more signals that they're coming into an area with pedestrians and people biking."

Swenson also says other issues include a lack of lighting and fast-moving cars coming off I-94.

The District Councils Collaborative is offering the surveys through its website and at various neighborhood locations. The group will use the feedback to press for pedestrian improvements.

The transit line connecting St. Paul to Minneapolis should be completed in 2014.