Park Board Approves Trail Improvement Plans for Dean Parkway and West Side of Cedar Lake

The following Press Release has been issued by the Park Board:

PARK BOARD APPROVES PLAN TO IMPROVE TRAILS AT DEAN PARKWAY AND THE WEST SIDE OF CEDAR LAKE

Community Advisory Committee recommendations accepted, along with separated trail modifications between Benton & Cedar Lake Parkway

At the March 20 Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) meeting, the Commissioners unanimously voted to pass a resolution for the Dean Parkway-Cedar Lake Trail Improvement Plan. The “yes” vote accepted a Preferred Concept Plan and recommendations developed by an appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC) representing regional trail users and local neighborhood groups. The resolution included a plan modification separating bicycle and pedestrian trails for a one block segment along Dean Parkway between Benton and Cedar Lake Parkway.

The split trail modification occurred after a group of neighbors expressed concerns at the Public Hearing on March 6. At that hearing, the Planning Board heard testimony from several neighborhood members. Planning Committee Chair Anita Tabb tabled the vote until the March 20 meeting in order to give MPRB staff time to meet with neighbors and CAC to address the neighborhood’s concerns.

On March 11, MPRB staff held an on-site meeting with the neighbors and the CAC. Staff suggested options for Dean Parkway trails between Benton and Cedar Lake Parkway to address home owner concerns about safety. The modifications provide separated trail alignments for pedestrians and bicyclists for a one block segment. From these options, a modification was selected and incorporated into the plan.

The approved concept plan focuses on improvements to known trail conflict areas, lighting, signage, and connections to regional trails. Proposed improvements are not expected to change the current use of the trails as a popular recreational and commuting route abutted by numerous urban amenities.

“The trails continue to grow in popularity for both pedestrians and for recreational bicyclists,” said 4th Park District Commissioner Anita Tabb. “Enhancing the investment in such a high-demand asset ensures that the Park Board provides a safe and attractive amenity, while encouraging enjoyment of this great city and fostering a healthy lifestyle.”

The trails along Dean Parkway are a critical part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway system. They connect to Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake. Three regional trails intersect the project area: the Midtown Greenway, the Kenilworth Trail, and the Cedar Lake Trail. Project construction is expected to be underway by fall of 2013.

Funding for the Dean Parkway trail improvements is provided by the federal Transportation Enhancement Act and Regional Park Operations and Maintenance funding provided through Metropolitan Council and the State Legislature.

For background information and to view the approved improvement plan, please visit the project page at http://www.minneapolisparks.org/DeanCedarTrails or call 612-230-6438. Sign up to receive email updates on this and other MPRB projects.

Questions from media:

Dawn Sommers, Communications and Marketing Manager

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Office: 612-230-6407 / Cell: 612-221-9155

dsommers@minneapolisparks.org

Questions from the public:

Deborah Bartels, Project Manager, Planning

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

612-230-6438 dbartels@minneapolisparks.org