A bike lane on Ayd Mill Road? The city of St. Paul wants your opinion

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Pave it and move on? Or give it an overhaul that includes a bike lane?

Those are the questions facing the city of St. Paul as it relates to Ayd Mill Road, which everyone agrees is badly in need of repair.

To help answer that question, the city is making a big push to promote a listening session Wednesday night.

The road is busy and some say that it should be bike and pedestrian friendly. Others say that, if that occurs, the city is asking for trouble.

Mayor Melvin Carter is proposing the overhaul that would include reducing the number of traffic lanes in favor of a bike lane.

“Anything that increases the possibility of biking and walking, that’s a good thing,” said Anthony Taylor, of the St. Paul Bike Coalition.

Ayd Mill Road runs from I-35E to Selby. The mayor’s plan to spruce it up stems from a 2009 City Council plan that was approved but never pushed forward.

A woman named Lisa Raduenz, who says she’s been a transit manager for cities, counties and universities for 30 years, says that plan is outdated and dangerous.

“Even if it’s a protected bikeway with a barrier in between, it’s still not safe when traffic is going past it at high speeds,” she said.  

She says there needs to be a lot more studies done and that if the number of traffic lanes are reduced, other already busy streets won’t be able to handle the overflow from what used to be Ayd Mill traffic.

“I’m suggesting that if the mayor wants to see what the impacts would be, he should just close both ends of Ayd Mill Road down for, I don’t know, six weeks, two months, three months and study what the impacts are,” Raduez added.  

Others, however, don’t think there will be much change at all to those roads.

“That’s a connector in terms of two areas of the city that are important and really it is not nearly utilized to the degree that people think it is,” Taylor said.

The listening session meeting is at 6 p.m. at St. Paul City Hall.