West Calhoun Phase II Neighborhood Action Plan Receives Approval

On December 19, 2016, the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization Policy Board approved $258,994 in funding to our neighborhood council. As required by program rules, 70% of the money must be used for housing. West Calhoun will meet this obligation by lending money to the Non-Profit Assistance Fund for affordable housing support.

The remaining 30% will be split between public greenspace enhancement and amenities, which could be used for drainage and improvements to our park space, and safety improvements, especially those recommended by the Multi-Modal Transportation Study.

Residents with ideas for projects are invited to share them with the board at our regular meetings every second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 PM in the Bakken Museum.

Southwest Light Rail Transit Issues and Actions

Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis conducted a station area strategic planning process for the Royalston, Van White, Penn, 21st Street, and West Lake Street stations along the Minneapolis portion of the proposed Southwest LRT line. The Minneapolis Station Area Strategic Planning Document is now available for review and comment. Minneapolis Station Area Strategic Planning document

A multi-modal access analysis and an intensive market study which, together with input from area residents, businesses, and community groups, will form the basis for conceptual designs for the station, a detailed land use plan for a half-mile radius around each station, and an implementation plan for each station area. The plans will build on previous land use studies and inform future rail design and land use decisions. A Community Members’ Working Group (CMWG) composed of members appointed by neighborhood associations, business associations, local organizations, and owners of property adjacent to stations, convened to raise local issues as plans were formulated, and acted as liaisons with their representative group.

Market Plaza Congestion Tips

Traffic congestion on Market Plaza has become heavy and dangerous to drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, especially at rush hours. It also impedes both fire and ambulance vehicles, which raises additional serious public safety issues.

The joint CIDNA – West Calhoun Safety Committee has documented that a great deal of this congestion is caused by overuse of the Market Plaza access to the Commons; below are some tips to better navigate this popular neighborhood destination.

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SWLRT Again Moving Forward

The $1.9 billion, 14.5 mile Southwest Light Rail Transit line linking Eden Prairie with downtown Minneapolis took another step forward in December when the Federal Transit Administration authorized the project to enter the engineering phase.

Assuming $928 million in federal funding is approved in July, and legal challenges do not cause delays, construction on the line will commence in before the end of the year with operation beginning in 2021.

The line is to have its West Lake Street Station in our neighborhood. The station will be accessible via an elevator from the Lake Street bridge and directly from a new 31st Street to be constructed between Abbott and Chowen avenues behind the Whole Foods store.

Station plans do not include parking, but do include potential mixed-use development near the site

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Multi-Modal Transportation Study Awaiting Implementation

The City and County completed a Multi-Modal Transportation study in February 2016 to determine what improvements are needed to enable safe access to the proposed West Lake light rail station by multiple modes including foot, bicycle, bus and automobile. While some improvements will be funded by a portion of the $30 million the City negotiated with the Metropolitan Council in the light rail consent process, others still need funding sources.

Calhoun-Harriet Master Plan Recommendations Released

 

On December 21, 2016, the City Park and Recreation Board released a “Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska-Harriet Trail and Access Improvements Study Report” with recommendations for near-term projects, which can be viewed here.

These proposed projects do not include any improvements in our neighborhood beyond some trail repaving work. However in May 2016 the Board had produced recommendations for a total redesign of park land with new uses in the West Calhoun neighborhood, which can be viewed here.

This redesign could take place in stages over many years, but is dependent on additional funding.