PARADE ROAD VOTE
The following item is a letter from 4th Park District Commissioner Anita Tabb written and circulated after the surprising events of the August 3, 2011 Park Board meeting. I would echo her comments and urge anyone writing to Commissioners Fine, Olson and Young (who do not live anywhere near Parade Stadium) to also direct their comments to Board President John Erwin firstname.lastname@example.org and Supt. Jayne Miller email@example.com with a copy to Commissioner Tabb.
Co-founder of Park Watch
Subject: Parade Road Vote
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 10:28:24 -0500
To all those interested in the Parade Road Reconstruction Project:
While I was excited to see that the Parade Road reconstruction project was approved as a capital project on this year’s Park Board agenda, I am dismayed and disgusted to report that a community meeting will include the option to move the road through the existing parking lot between the baseball field and the soccer/football field (where the gates are generally closed at the north end) – an alignment that conjures memories of a large and secretive project fought off by the neighborhood several years ago. (See attached conceptual design). This ill-conceived “choice” will further delay the project and eliminate any possibility of road reconstruction this fall. This alternative has been off the table for many years now because it just doesn’t make sense – for the neighborhood or for the Park Board. I have several fundamental concerns about it including:
1. This alternative negatively affects many of our neighbors who reside in the condominiums on Kenwood Parkway (301 and 311 Kenwood Parkway) as well as our neighbors, The Blake School and the Walker Museum.
2. A realignment of the road will take additional time to design while the current design is complete.
3. Parade Road cannot be eliminated because there is no entrance into the ice arena parking lot from Kenwood Parkway, nor is there another entrance into the lot that services the soccer/football field. Since there is no plan to eliminate use of either facility, the road to those parking lots, which include some of the poorest condition roadway of the entire stretch, will need to be repaved causing a duplicate north/south route in the area –- government inefficiency at its finest.
4. New curb cuts, requiring approval by the city, may need to be a part of the discussion and will add significant time to the project –- a project which should have been completed years ago.
5. This alternative alignment will provide an easy way through the neighborhood for non-residents to avoid portions of Hennepin and may increase traffic dramatically between the Walker Museum and the Sculpture Garden, a highly pedestrian area currently.
6. The alternative is a straightaway which provides an opportunity for non-residents to move at high speeds through the area between the baseball field and the soccer/football field and introduce safety issues for the area. (And I would be remiss if I did not mention that our own teens would be delighted for an opportunity to speed in any location.)
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
This situation has come about as a direct result of votes by the following three commissioners:
Bob Fine firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Olson email@example.com
I would encourage you to let all of your friends and neighbors know about this situation. Please feel free to forward this email. And it is imperative that you make your voice heard NOW! Take a few minutes to let these commissioners know that you would like to keep Parade Road where it is and have it paved promptly. Your message can be as long or as short as you wish –- but send an email!
You may also speak at the August 17 meeting during “Open Time”, a time-certain opportunity to make your views known to the Park Board in person. Open Time is always at 5:30 pm and speakers are allowed up to 3 minutes to present their views. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of many emails and a large turnout during “open time”. I have seen votes change often when public pressure is applied and the August 17th meeting is when the Park Board will be voting on this item.
Finally, feel free to contact me, via email or by phone (home or cell – not the Park Board number), if you would like further clarification on this issue. I have been working on this issue for a long time and would be glad to discuss it with you.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
District IV Commissioner
612-230-6443 (Park Board) extension 4