Ward 3 Year End Update

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St. Paul Ward 3 Update

December 20, 2018

Ward 3 Year End Update



As we come to the end of 2018, I wanted to take a moment and look back over the past year, and many of the great things we have accomplished for the neighborhood and City. I have tried to focus on jobs, transportation, and housing and we have accomplished a lot in those areas.

Additionally, we continue to strive to offer first class constituent services, and I hope we have delivered that to all.


It is an honor to serve you and the people of St. Paul, and I look forward to continuing to work with you and for you in 2019. Please do not hesitate to contact me at Ward3@ci.stpaul.mn.us or (651) 266-8630. Happy holidays and happy New Year!



Snelling Ave. medians



There have been several improvements to pedestrian safety throughout our neighborhoods, making it safer for children to get to school, and for neighbors to get to where they need to go throughout our community.


Snelling Avenue was a busy, four lane roadway, with truck traffic and high rates of speed that acted as a barrier in our community, preventing pedestrians from being able to safely cross the half mile stretch between Randolph Avenue and Highland Parkway.


Medians were installed this year and have helped with pedestrian crossing and traffic calming. Pedestrians now have a refuge with the median, where they can stop and cross only two lanes of traffic at a time, instead of the busy four. These planted medians act have a natural traffic calming effect on trucks and cars, as well as the added benefit of beautifying this expansive stretch of roadway.


Grand Avenue received several pedestrian safety improvements between Hamline Avenue and Lexington Pkwy. These include bump outs to give a safe place for pedestrians to get past cars when crossing, as well as marked crosswalks to give a visual cue to drivers to be more aware of pedestrians crossing. Grand Avenue is a great place to shop and visit, and now you’ll have a safer way to get from business to business along the corridor.


Finally, Saint Paul created a draft Pedestrian Plan this year, to guide City policy in making Saint Paul a safer place for pedestrians. You can review the draft plan, and provide feedback, using the link below:


Expo bike walk 2018



The area surrounding Expo Elementary School, Holy Spirit Catholic School, and Cretin Durham High School had blocks that were missing sidewalks, and this greatly affected the safety of children walking and biking to all of these schools. Sadly, a student was hit by a car in the past few years while walking to Expo Elementary. Thankfully, she was not hurt, but after this incident parents and neighbors in the area worked hard, with the assistance of my office, to create a Safe Routes to School plan.


Our office was able to use the Safe Routes to School plan to apply for, and successfully obtain, federal funding to complete the sidewalk network and give children a safe way to get to school. Since this federal grant was obtained for the project, all of the blocks with sidewalk gaps received sidewalks without any assessment to the property owners. They were installed this year, and kids have been giving them rave reviews!


Full Stack Saint Paul

Full Stack, a private/public sector collaboration that is co-led by the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, grew out of the Innovation Cabinet we began with our previous Mayor, Chris Coleman. Our work to help innovative jobs and businesses start and grow in Saint Paul continues with Full Stack Saint Paul, co-chaired by myself and Mayor Melvin Carter. We are working with innovative job creators in Saint Paul to increase awareness of our growing and vibrant innovation culture in Saint Paul, build and support events for innovators to connect and support key pipelines for growing innovation talent in our city, and to create an ecosystem of high-quality real estate solutions that provide work environment and amenities that help Saint Paul innovation companies recruit and retain talent.


The Full Stack Saint Paul action plan’s goals by the year 2020 include adding 2,000 tech-related jobs, increasing innovation-related commercial space in Saint Paul by 200,000 square feet, ensuring that 50 innovation-focused events will be held annually in the city, and showing significantly increased awareness of Saint Paul innovation.

The initiative has already achieved its commercial space and event objectives with Osborn 370 adding 200,000 square feet of office space and over 50 events taking place in the City with 37 events alone for Twin Cities Start Up Week. Twin Cities news outlets reported 70 stories highlighting innovative businesses or events taking place in Saint Paul. You can find out more details about Full Stack Saint Paul here:



In addition to focusing on bringing new jobs to Saint Paul, I’ve also been working to ensure our own Saint Paul students have job opportunities right in our communities. Right Track is a program I began in the city that partners with Saint Paul Public Schools, local businesses, and community organizations to provide paid internship opportunities and professional skills training to our youth. This is aimed to give opportunities to youth in our communities, and help our city build a skilled and diverse workforce. Right Track successfully matched over 800 Saint Paul youth with jobs, earning over $1 million in wages.


HPCC playground



Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is currently working on a Master Plan for Hidden Falls Regional Park and Crosby Farm Regional Park. The Master Plan will guide park improvements, natural resources management, and make recommendations for changes within the parks. These parks do not have a Master Plan, so this is a great opportunity for the community to provide input for what amenities and uses we’d like to most see in our neighborhood. With miles of riverfront surrounding our neighborhoods, I’m constantly reminded of how fortunate we are to live so close to this National Park treasure.


Highland Park received a temporary instillation of an additional 9 holes of disc golf this summer, after receiving feedback from the community that an expansion, and improvement, of the current disc golf course was needed. This temporary instillation was over the course of this summer, and allowed for Parks & Rec to gather feedback on the locations and use of the additional holes. After the temporary instillation was removed, Parks & Rec analyzed how it went and has recommended that it be permanently installed next season. In addition to the nine holes, they will be making improvements (signage, additional trash collection, etc.) to the existing holes, as well as shifting the location of one hole that was closest to a sidewalk.

Parks & Rec is now completing a study of the Highland 9 golf course. I asked for this study to provide the community with well researched and accurate information on the potential of the Highland 9 golf course for recreational and park purposes, and as an opportunity for continued evaluation of how to best utilize our limited park space for modern needs within the 27 holes of golf available in our neighborhood park.


Finally, the new playground at the Highland Park Community Center has been completed and is open for play! The Advisory Group met last year to begin the process of gathering community feedback on what the community’s desires were for the new play area space, and construction began this fall. The new playground and surrounding landscape improvements look great and I hope you have a chance to check it out next time you’re at the Community Center or stopping at the library.




After significant outreach and community involvement, the City Council passed, and Mayor signed, a minimum wage law for the City of Saint Paul that will phase in a $15 minimum wage. Over the course of this past summer and fall the City held numerous community sessions, as well as an unprecedented additional opportunity for public input to the City Council before a draft ordinance was even introduced. Through these conversations between neighbors and business owners, we crafted a minimum wage law that strikes a balance of providing a living wage for employees while working with businesses to help them succeed as well.



Ford Motor Company selected Ryan Companies, a local developer, to pursue the development of the Ford site. Ryan Companies held several community feedback meetings this year to gather additional feedback from city residents on their thoughts on the vision of the Ford Site Public Realm and Master plan.


Ryan Companies continues to work within their due diligence period and their plan for the Ford site. The City’s Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan was shaped after ten years of community input, and Ryan Companies intends it to continue to be the vision and framework that guides any future development decisions on the site. You can view the details of Ryan Companies’ plan for the Ford site here:



This is an important project and I look forward to continuing to work thoughtfully with you in the coming months as it moves forward.




St. Paul approved the Riverview Corridor – a twelve mile planned transportation connection between downtown St. Paul, the airport and Mall of America. This planned modern streetcar will connect the existing METRO Green Line to the METRO Blue Line and provide significantly more capacity on this already heavily utilized public transit route.


The advantages of using a modern streetcar include its ability to operate on tracks in both shared use and dedicated lanes, while stations have similar amenities to a dedicated bus rapid transit or light rail station. Typical station spacing is anywhere from one-eighth to one mile apart and patrons pay before boarding, so all streetcar doors are available for boarding and de-boarding.


The Metropolitan Council is currently accepting public comment on amending the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan to include the Riverview Corridor. A public hearing will be held on January 9, 2019, and public comment can also be submitted via letter, email or phone by 5:00 p.m. on January 21, 2019. The link below provides more detailed information on how to submit public comment:





Our Department of Public Works has been busy in our neighborhoods, fixing roads and filling potholes. In addition, this year they’ve replaced the sidewalk along Randolph (from Cleveland Ave. to Fairview Ave.) and finished a complete street reconstruction for the Woodlawn/Jefferson Phase I project area. There are some needed improvements coming to our area in 2019, including the following:

  • Cleveland Avenue Mill & Overlay (from Yorkshire to Mississippi River Blvd.)
  • St. Clair Avenue Mill & Overlay (from Fairview to Snelling)
  • Summit Avenue Bridge Replacement over Ayd Mill (this will take place in both 2019 & 2020)



After a significant number of policy sessions, where the City Council had an opportunity to delve into the details of the Mayor’s proposed budget, and after hearing feedback on the proposal from residents in our neighborhood, the City Council passed St. Paul’s 2019 budget.


As Chair of the City’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority, I am particularly proud that our budget includes a focus on affordable housing by establishing a $10 million housing trust fund, as well an additional $2 million ongoing investment in affordable housing. These funds will be used to preserve current affordable housing, ensure already naturally occurring affordable housing remains affordable, and to produce additional affordable housing units.


We invested in some of our youngest neighbors by tripling our funding for free after school programs at our Rec Centers, as well as more Rec Center hours, and launched a citywide Read Brave program at our libraries for all of our learners in our communities.


For our Police Department, our budget invests additional resources to further develop the Department’s Mental Health Unit’s Co-Responder program, and expand investigative capacity by promoting seven officers to investigators and create two additional commander positions to oversee the Sex Crimes Unit and downtown.




Housing continues to be a pressing need in our city, which is we created a Fair Housing Work Group. This Work Group examined the background of the City’s role in fair housing, collected data about the status of fair housing in Saint Paul, analyzed policy and programs for furthering fair housing, and outlined recommendations for next steps for implementation. Our Fair Housing Work Group report was presented to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority this past spring. You can read the entirety of the report here: