Week of April 19, 2020

A couple weeks ago representatives from the Mahtomedi council and Birchwood council met at the border of our towns to discuss the interface of the Lake Links trail there.  Our city has been trying to make sure the transition will be safe and that needs to bikers and pedestrians are met.  The meeting was essential to accomplish this.

A little background:  Last year, our city held a town meeting to present a number of options for how we envision the best placement of the Lake Links route in Birchwood.  I think six options were presented, from "keep as is" to "lets do a complete make over" and create a path along side.  The vast majority preferred that we keep things much as they are and make the shoulders safer.  That includes keeping lanes on both sides of the road for the "trail."

Meanwhile, Mahtomedi had determined that all bikes and peds will use one path that hugs the lake side of Birchwood Road.  That created a disconnect at our border.  Councilmember Jon Fleck and I "attended" the last Mahtomedi council meeting and asked the city to help us reach a mutual resolution.  Hence, the roadside meeting.

I am happy to report that we all came to a mutual resolution quickly once the nature of the problem was visualized.  Mahtomedi will install a solar-powered ped signal and cross walks 100 feet east of our boundary.  In addition, they will install thermo-plastic paving markers/paint hashmarks in the 100 foot transition space between the end of the path and our Hall Ave.  This is a win-win for all in that we believe we will create visual awareness for traffic and safe passage for walkers and bikers.  Even better, Mahtomedi has said they may reduce the speed to 25 MPH and probably install a stop sign at the Lost Lake intersection.

We believe these measures will improve the safety, but we will have to wait until fall when construction should be finished.  Stay tuned. 

Be well.  Be safe.