Clement Vaccaro 8

Closure of 114th Lane NE - Blaine, Minnesota

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From:
Sanctuary Preserve Neighborhood Residents

To:
Blaine City Council
10801 Town Square Dr. NE,
Blaine, MN 55449

RE: Closure of 114th Lane N.E.

Dear Blaine City Council Members,

The Sanctuary Preserve neighborhood residents are asking for the city council to revisit the decision to maintain the closure of 114th Lane N.E. Currently, the closure is to be maintained until 2025 in conjunction with the Lexington Ave. Corridor project. Since the closure was last discussed by the city council, additional factors have been discovered and should be heard to determine if maintaining the closure is truly sound.

  • Completion of the Sanctuary Preserve Construction. The construction of the 151 households in the Sanctuary Preserve community is complete. With the completion of the development, the concern of large vehicle traffic related to the construction has been eliminated.

    Of the 151 homes, more than 60 percent are households with either school age children or soon-to-be-school-age children, assigned to attend the SLP school system and that rely on safe and efficient bussing.
  • Inefficient Bussing. The current bus route that includes Sanctuary Preserve must first drive down 114th Lane N.E. until it reaches the road closure, and then backtrack all the way to Lexington Ave. to reach the Sanctuary Preserve development.

    With current traffic patterns, the bus route for children attending SLP schools in the neighborhood results in an extra seven minutes on the bus per school day. These seven minutes per day turn into an extra 35 minutes on the bus per week and by the end of the school year, the children have spent an extra 21 hours on the bus. See appendix material from SLP Transportation Dept.
  • Infrastructure Exists and Minimal Effort to Open 114th Lane N.E. The infrastructure for this road is already in place, it is only blocked by temporary signs. The only work required to connect the neighborhoods is the removal of the signs, and then patching of the asphalt. When the asphalt was laid the city did install a stop sign at the end of 114th Lane N.E. in the Sanctuary Preserve neighborhood for traffic control and safety; therefore, no major road construction is required to make the roadway operational.
  • City Growth. The City of Blaine continues to be one of the fastest-growing suburbs in the Twin Cities metro area. There are multiple commercial and residential housing developments being completed, started, and proposed along Lexington Ave., including high-density housing on the corner of 109th Ave. and Lexington Ave. The population increase along the Lexington Corridor will likely lead to increased traffic and even longer delays for this bus route.

    The minimal effort that is necessary to open 114th Lane N.E. is not dependent upon the upcoming enhancements to Lexington Ave, so there is no compelling argument to link the timing of opening 114th Lane N.E. to the work on Lexington Ave.
  • Sharing of Public Roadways. In addition to the increased efficiency and safety for bus routes, emergency vehicles and deliveries opening 114th Lane N.E. creates opportunities for the two neighborhoods to use the roadway for walking, biking and running, and provides the North Oak Ponds East neighborhood with direct access to the city park in Sanctuary Preserve.

    We appreciate the opportunity to raise these factors to the Blaine City Council. We believe this matter should not be bundled with any decisions relating to the Lexington Ave. Corridor project, and since there are proven inefficiencies in the bussing, now is the time for the city council to revisit the decision to maintain the closure of 114th Lane N.E. Thank you for your service and dedication to the city.

Sincerely,

The Sanctuary Preserve Neighborhood Residents

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