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Shuttle bus

Como Park Shuttle bus preview

Como Park Shuttle Bus
Como Park Shuttle Bus

Como Park Shuttle Buses

I was invited to preview two buses being considered for next years Como Park Shuttle bus service.

The front bus is has “kneeling” feature and an ADA-compliant ramp which quickly deploys for the easy loading and unloading of special needs passengers or those who wish to bring along strollers. The rear bus has the low emission, 2008 standards diesel engine. It was quieter and much cleaner.

Como Campus director, Mike Hahm, explained that we need buses that fit the budget, the program needs, and can be obtained within the time line requirements (Spring, 2009).

We rode this bus to the proposed park and ride parking lot on Como Avenue, south of the the Fair Grounds. The ride took seven minutes. With a three minute load/unload cycle each bus could do three loops per hour. Three buses could transport about 300 passengers each direction per hour with a bus leaving about every 7 or 8 minutes.

When watching the video below remember that the bus with the ramp still had the old 2004 engine. Compare it to the rear 2008 lo-e bus as it leaves the curb and to the standard school buses that pass by.

Como Park Shuttle Bus preview from Art Oglesby on Vimeo.

Categories
Como Park Swimming Pool

Como Park Swimming Pool Redevelopment

Como Park swimming pool is closed

The City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation is planning a complete redevelopment of the Como Regional Park Pool and adjacent facilities located at Horton Avenue and Lexington Parkway in Como Regional Park, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

US Aquatics and Anthony Kell Architects will collaborate with the City Parks Design Staff & Planning Committee to design an aquatics facility “Master Plan” that Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and the Saint Paul community can support and be proud of.

Process

The city wishes to develop a comprehensive design beyond just the Como Pool area which includes other adjacent proposed areas and uses:

Proposed Como Woodland Classroom
McMurray Field area
Vehicular circulation improvements and impacts for the entire study area

Schedule

The overall project approach anticipates four (4) primary phases of work:

Phase I – Study area site analysis including traffic and circulation study, program development, preliminary design, and schematic design
Phase II – Design Development
Phase III – Construction Management

Phase I – October 2008 – March 2009

Budget

We currently have funding for phase I ($220,000) through Metro Parks but anticipate additional funding from 2010/11 CIB and Metro Parks.

Estimated Total Project Budget: $7.22 million

– Construction Budget: $5,921,220
– Design Engineering: $1,299,780

Planning Committee

The Como Pool Planning Committee will have a representative from each of the following groups.

Parks & Rec Comm
District 10 Communty Council
District 6 Community Council
Star Swim Club
Lap Swimmer
Lexington Pkwy Resident
Council Member Lee Helgen
Council Member Russ Stark
Municipal Athletics
Woodland Classroom
Youth Community – Regular User
Neighborhood Pool User

Click this link if you wish to fill out an application to be on the Como Pool Planning Committee

The Planning Committee recommendation goes to the Parks & Recreation Commission. The Parks & Recreation Commission then makes a recommendation to the Mayor of Saint Paul. The Mayor looks at it and judges whether it meets the Park’s Master Plan guidelines. The Mayor then sends the plan to the Saint Paul City Council who has the funding authority to pay for the project.

If all goes will ground breaking might happen in 2010.

The video below is from a public meeting presenting the Como Pool renovation process to the public. For more information, contact: City of St. Paul Park & Recreation Director, Bob Bierscheid, (bob.bierscheid@ci.stpaul.mn.us).

Como Park Swimming Pool Planning Committee from Art Oglesby on Vimeo.

Categories
Como Park Groups

Como Park Alliance

The gates are open at Como Park

Como Park Alliance
A group of people with an interest in preserving, maintaining, and helping Como Park have created an organization called the Como Park Alliance. Their mission is:

To preserve the park’s rich history and natural environment to ensure the integrity of the park for the future through partnerships, proactive activities and education.

The Como Park Alliance started with some neighbors who wanted to have a voice in what happens in the park, and is now extended to anyone anywhere who has an interest in helping the park achieve mutual goals. The Como Park Alliance website has a link to a Como Park Monitor article describing how Rhonda DeBough-Insook initiated the creation of the Como Park Alliance.

Como Park Pool Survey
The Como Park swimming pool will likely be closed for the 2009 season. The pool is in disrepair and needs some major work. A decision whether to repair or perhaps start fresh with a new facility needs to be made. A Saint Paul Park and Recreation task force will be created to assess the Como Park pool situation and to make recommendations about options. The Como Park Alliance wants to provide input from its community.

A Como Park Alliance pool subcommittee drafted a survey and distributed it to neighbors East and West of the pool area. The survey can also be filled out on the Internet or printed from a pdf file. They are asking for the survey to be returned by Aug. 15. The drop off is to be at 1168 Lexington Pkwy N. (C. Daly’s residence) The survey was designed to be compared with a survey already done city wide in 2005. They feel that the results of this survey, when properly analyzed, will allow them to speak confidently about neighborhood sentiments to the task force this fall.

District 10 Como Community Council

The Como Park Alliance shares many of its goals with the District 10 Como Community Council and hopes their united efforts can impact the decisions made effecting Como Park. Como Park Alliance representatives regularly attend District 10 meetings.

Categories
Como Park Groups

Burdock Bust in Como Park Woodland Project

Burdock Bust at the Como Park Woodland from Art Oglesby on Vimeo.
EcoPartners youth crew, Community Service Stars (from METP), and Jonna’s summer Youth Job Corps crew did some digging of burdock plants today, but mostly removed burdock flower heads to keep them from reseeding in the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom project site.

The Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom project site is located just west of the Como Park swimming pool parking lot.

Kare 11 just featured a video of the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom on Minnesota Bound (click the link to watch it). The Classrood segment start about 12 minutes into the show.

Categories
Como Park Shuttle bus

Como Park Shuttle / Circulator Project

Who:

Michael Hahm, as Director/Campus Manager of the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is leading the implementation of the shuttle/circulator project. He met with Art Oglesby on Friday, May 30.
Parks and Rec. Dept of the City of Saint Paul wrote the grant

How:

A shuttle has been in the master plans since at least 1985 (see below)
$1.2 million federal grant for a pilot project (+ a small matching requirement)

Study:

A survey on the Como website is pointing toward a 10 minute loop

Planning:

Where to park (probably south of fairgrounds across Como)
Contract in the works – Fairgrounds too restrictive
Route East on Como to Lexington; North to Estabrook/Nason Place; unload in front of Conservatory: loop back to beginning.
Purchase:
At least (2) 20-25 passenger vehicles that are handicap/stroller friendly
Metro Transit contracted to operate
Construct bus shelters
Implement:
Hope to start in 2009
only weekends at beginning

1985 master plan

Categories
Como Park Conservatory

COMOPARK.US domain applications

The domain comopark.us could be used to index all things pertaining to Como Park and its community. This initial structure will provide web presence for groups, services, photography, governance, and information.