Como Park parking

Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan

Como Park Traffic & Parking

Como Park now attracts more than 3 million visitors per year. Originally designed as “an outdoor haven for the area’s urban population”, Como Park visitors often are frustrated by full parking lots and and traffic congestion.

Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan

A plan is needed that will address long and short term transportation and parking needs of Como Regional Park, while also balancing the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods. A group  known as Project Advisory Committee (PAC) has been formed to provide input and guidance that is representative of the various groups sitting on the committee, but that also works toward collaborative solutions that balance the interests of the park with the interests of the surrounding neighborhoods. The PAC will play a key role in project decision-making by providing input and guidance throughout the project process.

A number of considerations will be taken into account including the current park master plan, surrounding neighborhoods, historic elements of the park, preservation of green space, and planned park improvements. The result of this project will be a Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan (TIP) that will be used in planning future transportation improvements for the park.

Project Advisory Committee

PAC members are listed below. Michelle Furrer, City of St. Paul, will serve as the primary point of contact for the PAC. Mike Foertsch of Kimley-Horn will serve as the primary point of contact for the consultant team.

  • Michelle Furrer – City of St. Paul, Director/Campus Manager, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory (Committee Chair)
  • Glenn Baron – Lancer-Como Town
  • Triesta Brown – District 6 Neighborhood Council
  • Karen Clark – St. Paul Parks and Recreation, Operations
  • Don Ganje – St. Paul Parks and Recreation
  • Steve Grans – Minnesota State Fair
  • Samantha Henningson – St. Paul Ward 4
  • Annie Johnson – St. Paul Ward 5 (alternate)
  • Karin Misiewizc – St. Paul Parks and Recreation, Maintenance
  • Bryan Murphy – St. Paul Parks and Recreation, Landscape Architecture
  • Dennis O’Rourke – District 10 Neighborhood Council
  • Ann Olson – St. Paul Ward 5
  • Paul Prior – St. Paul Park and Recreation
  • Jackie Sticha – Como Friends
  • Elizabeth Stiffler – St. Paul Public Works
  • Mary Wawro – District 6 Neighborhood Council (alternate)
  • Sally Worku – District 10 Neighborhood Council (alternate)

Public meeting to inform and request input

A public meeting was held Aug 12 to provide an

  • update on project progress
  • present preliminary recommendations/options
  • receive input on recommendations/options

Your input and feedback will be used to create a comprehensive package of final recommendations and complete the phasing/staging of the project. Video coverage of the Presentation are below. Double clicking on the video will open a new window with options for full-screen high definition viewing.

Video I – Introducion

Video II – Presentation

Video III – Overview

How to provide ideas about Como Park traffic and parking

Your can TAKE A SURVEY ON YOUR THOUGHTS OF THE CONCEPTS – Open through August 27, 2010. (Clicking on the link in blue will take you to an on line survey)

Summary of Recomendations

  • Reduce or eliminate intersection conflicts and congestion at the Lexington Parkway/Horton
  • Avenue, Horton Avenue/Midway Parkway, and Hamline Avenue/Midway Parkway intersections.
  • Provide a convenient designated visitor and shuttle loading/unloading location.
  • Provide a convenient designated bus loading/unloading and parking location.
  • Distribute traffic on the roadways in and around the park by providing more than one option to
  • access an area.
  • Provide additional parking spaces within a 5-minute walk radius of the Zoo/Conservatory/Como
  • Town to meet the parking demand during the Average Summer Peak.
  • Implement paid parking in the most heavily used parking areas, with free parking at the shuttle
  • lot and other less-used parking areas
  • Provide parking information to visitors to reduce vehicles circulating to find parking
  • Purchase or construct a permanent shuttle lot with a capacity of approximately 500 parking
  • spaces located within 2 miles of the Park.
  • Convert the current shuttle into a circulator to serve the busiest areas of the Park.
  • Provide shelters at the Metro Transit bus stops
  • Provide shelters and information kiosks at the Como Shuttle stops
  • Provide convenient and safe pedestrian/bicycle facilities between bus/shuttle stops, the
  • sidewalk/trail system, and the major attractions of the Park
  • Provide improved north/south and east/west bicycle and pedestrian facilities through the Park
  • Provide a safer pedestrian/bicycle crossing of Lexington Parkway between the lake and golf course
  • Provide an additional pedestrian/bicycle crossing of the BNSF tracks
  • Provide wayfinding and parking information for vehicles and pedestrians for all major areas of the Park
  • Direct visitors to the park via multiple routes to distribute traffic among various routes

Go to the Saint Paul CRPTIP webpage for more information and downloads

The City of Saint Paul website has a page full of information about the Como Regional Park Transportation Implementation Plan (click to view). There is also a Project Advisory Committee webpage with links to minutes and data from each of their meetings.

Como Park Groups Swimming Pool

Como Park swimming pool survey

There was a new notice in the Neighborhood News section of the District 10 Como Community Council website.

The City of Saint Paul is considering options for the site that contains the Como Park pool, which is in District 10 but adjacent to District 6. The pool was closed at the end of last summer because of emergency repairs and is unlikely to be opened next season without major repairs or replacement.

I am a member of a “pool committee” which belongs to the Como Park Alliance. I am including a draft of our pool committee report below.

Pool Committee Report

Como Park Pool to be closed for 2009 season

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 task force will recommend options

Saint Paul Park and Recreation plans to create a task force this fall to assess the Como Park pool situation and to make recommendations about options. This task force is to include representatives from the neighborhood, from District 6 and 10 Community Councils, and other affected parties.

The Como Park Alliance wants input

The mission of the Como Park Alliance is to preserve, maintain, and help Como Park. We are working to stay informed with what is happening in Como Park, to communicate our concerns to those who operate it, and to offer assistance where we can.

2005 Feasibility Study of St Paul Aquatics Facilities

We are appreciate that the city allowed us to see a copy of the Feasibility Study for City of Saint Paul Facilities (July 1, 2005). This 64 page pdf arouses some concerns. This quote from the executive summary (pg 3),

“…Any renovation or replacement of existing aquatic facilities or construction of a new aquatic park should be built to accommodate at least 1,500 to 2,000 person bather load capacity. … the consulting team feels the City of Saint Paul would be best served by transitioning the Como Pool into an aquatic park.”

Their plan differs from our vision of what is appropriate for Como Park. You can see the initial draft version of the design concept for Phase IV (click twice to view large).

We will distribute a survey to Como Pool neighbors

The Pool Subcommittee has drafted a survey and will distribute 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. (provide links) We 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. We feel that the results of this survey, when properly analysed, will allow us to speak confidently about neighborhood sentiments to the task force this fall.

Como Park Alliance Pool Committee