Join The Discussion

What people are saying in the neighborhood. Share your comments below.

"It's possible that the Bike Trail Plan's evolution predated the possibility of routing along the vacated railroad lines. Now that the possibility exists to lease use of the easement along those lines, it's essential that we stop and reconsider, particularly since public support for the Summit Avenue route is limited and continually dwindling. Without that support, any action taken is autocratic. The original plan may have been adequate at the time it evolved, but now we have a better option. Let's not make the mistake of committing to second or third or fourth best when we can do better."
Anastasia Galati
"I grew up in St Paul and returned as a visitor, staying on Summit Ave at The Davidson Hotel in April 2023. I believe the character of Summit and its appeal to tourists will be harmed by the building of a center-of-the-boulevard bicycle track. I kept an eye out for bicyclists during my four-day stay, and I only saw one or two bikers every few minutes. They were well served by the existing marked bike lanes. I worry that an elevated bicycle track could result in some accidents (tumbles of bikers and their bikes from an elevated point into traffic). If you put guard rails around the track, it will make Summit very ugly to look at--and St. Paul needs to attract visitors from across the country and the world. Summit has a special magic that the residents have spent decades preserving. I would hate to return to St. Paul and see that gone. One last note I want to make is that I live in a Victorian neighborhood with a grand boulevard similar to Summit. The City of Baltimore put in bike lanes with posts on either side of the boulevard. There was an outcry from homeowners and others whose cars were hit by bikers due to the change in the lane style. Just two years after putting in the new bike zones, the city removed them and returned to simple painted bike lane markings. This was a costly mistake for the city to fix. to undo, and I imagine that destroying an elevated central bicycle platform would be unthinkably expensive. Think ahead--be careful--don't mess with the beautiful treasure that is Summit Avenue."
Sujata Massey
"I have bikes summit Ave for years and have had no problems. The “vulnerability of bicyclists” seems subjective and not worth the time and energy of this project."
Jacob Fitzpatrick
"Dear Mayor Carter and Council member Noecker, As both a constituent and as a member of the St. Paul Chapter of the American Association of Women (AAUW) I am writing to strongly oppose the current city proposal to abandon the existing bike lanes on Summit Avenue and replace them with two, one-way off road trails. I believe the proposed changes to Summit would have a permanent and detrimental effect on our chapter building and other buildings along the historic avenue streetscape and the destruction of about 400 mature trees along the route. Please reconsider!!! Sincerely, Carol Engebretson Byrne 883 Linwood Avenue St. Paul, MN. 55105"
Carol Byrne
"To preserve a unique cultural treasure and iconic symbol of the soul of a city neighborhood, it is critical to develop city infrastructure around this nationally recognized collection of Victorian-era homes. Private citizens have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain the integrity of the many homes that line Summit avenue from the Mississippi River to the St. Paul Cathedral. Why can't the City Council support it's citizens that have invested so much to preserve this unique and differentiating feature of our community. Considering that the City can't even keep up with basic road repair I would hate to think of how they would handle this project."
Sayre Darling
"My vote is NO!!! I want Summit Avenue to be Maintained with its present design. Summit Avenue is on the National Registry as one of this country’s “Great Streets”. SUMMIT AVENUE IS A NATIONAL TREASURE!!! ***Fix the Many Potholes! ***Fix the Many Cracks! ***Maintain Summit Avenue as the National Treasure that We are So Fortunate to Have in Saint Paul! Signed: Elisabeth Paper"
Elisabeth Paper
"Please Please do not change Summit Avenue except to paving the pot holes.. no trees on this magnificent Avenue are worth bike trails differing from is now available. I went to School @344 Summit for 4 years. Do not change the wide Blvd to accommodate the few… Visual is for everyone…one of the last grandeur Avenues"
Lawrence rafferty
"Summit Avenue is a Minnesota gem and needs to be protected from misguided projects such as the one under current consideration to install bike lanes. My wife and I come to Saint Paul numerous times throughout the year and often enjoy walking on Summit Ave, as well as frequenting establishments like W.A Frost, the Lexington, and numerous shops on Grand Avenue. I urge the decision-makers not to move the bike lane project forward - Summit Avenue needs, and deserves, protection."
Mark Anderson
"Please listen to the residents of St Paul and rethink the current plan for Summit Avenue. Do not destroy the character and future of this important street. Bike lanes don’t need to dominate on every street. Besides, cyclists claim the city’s proposal decreases safety for bikers not making it safer"
J. Michele Edwards
"We are an older mostly retired couple, 1 doctor and 1 architect over 30 years in this neighborhood. We are avid cyclists but do not in any way support this trail. It is vitally important that the state of Minnesota recognize this importance of the Historic District and protect it fully. Remember in the 1960's/1970's we almost demolished this beautiful neighborhood in the name of urban renewal. Nuts."
James Keane
"Stop the SAINT PAUL council from turning Summit Avenue into a bike trail. This council has lost control of themselves. I fear that Summit Avenue will become another trash story with midnight changes to ANY agreement we may think we have. They have made SAINT PAUL a toxic city by overstepping their bounds while FAILING to take care of necessary business like CRIME, STREET REPAIR, and the WELL BEING OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS."
Roger Anderson
"I grew up in Mac Groveland and spent much time on Summit including graduating from St Thomas. We owned a home a couple block off Summit and raise our family while using the avenue to run several time each week. It makes no sense to alter this historic and beautiful environment when other plans preserve its unique character should be pursued."
Michael Wittek
"I have adored Summit Ave all my life (60+ years) And have lived in other states in that time. There is nowhere like it! This is a national treasure!! The historical value is so huge!! It would be terrible if we let it be destroyed!!"
Anne Todd
"We know the "what" only the city wants and "where" the proposed trail would be, but the "why, exact timeline, and how" issues have been inadequately addressed. A community benefits approach, facilitated by a neutral party, is required to ensure this very historic section of St. Paul remains the attraction it has been for over a century."
Sharon Pfeifer
"As a lifelong resident of Summit Ave, it is appreciated for what it is. From the Cathedral to the river, it is a historical story of Minnesota and our City. The cost of living on this street is offset by being able to share it. Over the past decades we residents of Summit have been very aware of the increase in bike traffic, have welcomed it, and adjusted our travel habits to ensure their safety. It would be nice if that small percentage of bikers who ignore the traffic laws would cooperate. It would also be nice if we had a clue what the city was planning to do. In conversations with my fellow residents of Summit I can Safley say we are inclusive to sharing it with everyone. In addition to the tax burden the residents of this avenue Soley bear all the costs of maintaining the buildings and landscapes of it without complaint. Summit Avenue is a treasure to be enjoyed by all and to totally alter it for a small percentage of citizens for no apparent benefit is unfair. Out government should be working for the greater good of all, not what appears to be the greater good of a few. Has anyone seen the plans for the hookup to the Samuel H. Morgan Regional Trail? Get the popcorn, the scrutiny on that one will be a Duzer."
Charles Michel
"Please save the trees in our cities. Sooo important for mental health and a magnitude of other things!!!!"
Colleen Fischer
"I opposed the proposed elevate bike lane. I want the historic area preserved and the trees left. Also I am a member of AAUW and our organization passed a resolution against this. Please consider our business and the 300 members, who will not necessarily be able to walk long distances."
Carol Gregorson
"I am with the Company Of Candyland on Wabasha St. Having a bike path that is barely used and will barely ever be used and taking valuable parking for businesses and local residents has been devastating. We received countless complaints everyday. Cutting down irreplaceable trees on Summit Ave is a crime. This should not happen for any reason. I feel bike paths should not anger the majority of residents and business owners. Bike paths should be planned to benefit everyone. I really hope this insane path comes to screeching end now. Brenda Lamb President Candyland"
Brenda Lamb
"Summit Ave is the longest historic street in the US. There are over 400 well kept mansions on the avenue that meet historic maintenance at great expense. The canopy of trees make this street so beautiful. Arborists have declared that the proposed bike trail will result in over 400 trees lost. I oppose this change very much. Move this bike trail to another street that doesn’t have the history we must preserve."
Pamela Lande
"I’ve been a year round bike commuter since i was a teen growing up in St Paul crocus hill neighborhood. There is no need for an off road bike trail. Plowing a separate trail in winter is added cost and creates another snow pile for cars and pedestrians to navigate. Bikes belong on roads and are traffic calming instruments. Keep it simple don’t fix what ain’t broken."
PEter DeLong
"The City's plan to accommodate a few virulent bikers at the expense of us leisurely walkers, drivers and, yes, bikers who treasure this great, graceful arterial throughway is wasteful of precious dollars. But more important, it is ruinous of a beautiful, historic artwork."
Linda Hoeschler
"No to city of St Pauls plan for Summit Avenues Regional Master Trail Plan. Let’s focus on hiring more cops, prosecutors and plowing our street in the winter!"
Frederick Betz
"Please reconsider the plan for the proposed bike trail on Summit Ave. The plan is flawed on many levels i.e compromising the integrity of a national treasure. A possible alternative could be to move the bike trail to Marshall Avenue which has direst access to the Lake Street bridge And to the Greenway. I ask you to reconsider"
Marilyn Fetsch
"As an historian and long-time member of the Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission, I urge you to leave the design of Summit Avenue as it is."
mikel clifford
"I have lived on Summit Avenue for over 30 years and pay incredibly high property taxes; I would expect that instead of destroying the feel and history of this street, that the city would use funds to maintain the roads and green spaces! Enough with pet projects that are wasting tax dollars!!"
Lisa Prouty-Gehrig
"Summit Ave has always been and should remain as our show case avenue in St. Paul. Cutting down mature trees is destroying this beautiful avenue we are all so proud of."
Rosemary Fagrelius
"The City’s current leaders have allowed the rush of ego to overtake the calm of reason. We citizens of St Paul, the trees of Summit Ave, and the history of our town are caught in this web woven out of their hubris. The Court, we hope, will temper this Mayor’s overweening, self-serving momentum until the election process puts a stop to it. I speak as a 48 year resident of this neighbor hood and a former supporter of the current mayor."
Tess Galati
"The City of St. Paul once again refuses to listen to their citizens. Once elected they believe they know best for everyone. Think forward - take the trees down, change the beauty of Summit Ave, people move away, and eventually - yes it is truly possible - property taxes go down. I can't say this diplomatically: This whole thing is just plain stupid."
"I’m tired of my city’s big, expensive, and seemingly endless capital projects that benefit so few people while we can’t do basic city management like keeping our streets, sidewalks, stairs, and public spaces in good repair. Our schools need $$ and support, as does public works, police, and DSI. How about our court system, why does it take weeks or months to get a hearing or face a judge? Please pay attention to basic city management first."
Jon Oulman
"I have enjoyed walks and events on this street for many years, please do not destroy it for the many walkers that appreciate this wonderful, historic, beautiful walking street."
Beth Artner
"I cannot believe the proposal to decimate the trees and gracious beauty of Summit Avenue wasn't laughed out of the room when it was first voiced! What unmitigated idiocy! A wider street results in wider intersections and longer crossing times for pedestrians and bicyclists, thereby increasing exposure to cars and the chances of being hit. Not to mention destroying the historical and aesthetic beauty of the street that is enjoyed by walkers, runners, bicyclists and tourists. Have all the bicyclists in the city bombarded city offices demanding the destruction of the street to meet their needs? I THINK NOT. Widen the bike lane and paint it green with glow in the dark stripes, narrow the driving lane, save the trees, preserve the quality of the street, and stop regarding destruction of the old and gracious and replacement with the new as always better. SAVE SUMMIT!"
Mary Oczak
"The rush by City planners to embed this bike plan into the future of Summit Avenue is hugely premature. The sole focus of the plan is a new, improved, supposedly safer and more accessible BIKE trail We have been told that the cost, disruption, and potential tree and other environmental damage shouldn't be a concern because ALL of Summit has to be rebuilt anyway. Then where it this overall plan for the rebuilding Summit? Public Works director Sean Kershaw says that Summit has storm and septic sewers, water lines and other infrastructure that need to be replaced, some of which are more than a century old and "they're at great risk of failing." The why is the City's first priority to focus on the specific, minute details of this bike trail for which there is no funding? Isn't that a perfect example of the tail wagging the dog? Shouldn't there be an overall Summit rebuilding plan of which this bike trail is just one component, not the only driver? What about pedestrians, drivers, residents, local business, and others who will be impacted by this huge project besides bikers. If the required rebuilding of Summit is potentially a $100 million project, why are we all forced to fight about the possibly $12 million specifics for only a bike trail, first and exclusively? That makes no sense and requires too many hypotheticals. As it is, the repaving of terribly inadequate pavement between Lexington and Dale has been postponed in anticipation what might happen with this bike plan. Who knows what the real constraints will end up being on such a huge project? But if the bike trail is carved in stone, the reasonable options for doing what is best for more constituents could shrink, and the costs rise, exponentially. Personally I think failing sewers are a safety problem the City should work out a plan for before creating a bike super highway on Summit. Many other busier streets (Lexington, Hamline, Cleveland) have on road, painted bike lanes that are deemed just fine. Why is changing that on Summit the only priority when Summit has so many other infrastructure challenges that SHOULD be addressed? Bikes only - ahead of sewers, drainage, road conditions, trees, pedestrians, residents, visitors - where is this going? In pursuit of Met Council money, the City of St. Paul has really lost its way."
Susan Morrison
"I’m writing to express my opinion of the proposed bike trail project along Summit Ave. I am firmly, absolutely opposed to it. My wife and I have e-bikes and we have enjoyed the bike ride down Summit many, many times. Many times! It’s a part of our river-loop routes. We have had no problems whatsoever with cars, pedestrians or other bikes. We see no reason for building an expensive, asymmetrical bike trail that would forever alter the character of the neighborhood and the ambiance of the ride. Not a single tree is worth a new, unnecessary trail. (Whose idea is it, anyway?) I’ve written to you before about trees (and their absence) in this city. There is a cavalier attitude amongst government people about cutting down trees for one project or another. 7th street downtown looks like Gary, Indiana without its trees. Before, with the trees, it reminded me of Paris (don’t laugh - have you been to Paris?). The current bike paths are just fine. OK, it could be smoother (along with the street). But a major re-imagination of the bike paths are not, NOT worth cutting down a single tree up there. Have you ever bicycled down Summit? Try it - I’ll bet you’d agree, it’s great just the way it is. Re-pave it maybe, but that’s all the improvement needed. Thanks for your time."
Mark Kraby
"I am completely opposed to the Regional Trail Master Plan. It is destructive of nature, destructive of the existing life and uses of Summit Avenue by the community, destructive to climate protection through tree removal, of many, many trees, all obvious reasons to block this plan among many others. The freeway projects in Minnesota did not succeed in destroying Summit Avenue. But the biker interest seeks to destroy it through this plan.. We must try to prevent this egregious plan fueled by a narrow interest group and the lure of federal money. Milda K. Hedblom"
Milda Hedblom
"Summit Avenue is a national treasure, of historic and literary significance. It should be preserved just as it is, minus the potholes of course. If we care about the future of our city, we should do our utmost to keep Summit Avenue and all of its mature trees."
Christine Graf
"Our family has lived on Summit Avenue since 1962. I would love to know who originally brought forth and where the money for this fiasco.. The Historic Preservation Society ( state or local) should perhaps seek a World Heritage Site to further protect any further mugging of our area.."
Colleen McManus
"Cutting these trees down is ridiculous, it will completely change the look and feel of Summit ave. Absolutely disgraceful to even consider it."
Bryan Billingsley
"Summit Ave. needs to stay a preserved street with all the beautiful trees. this is another crazy idea by the city for just one use. Bikers don't pay the huge tax burden Summit Ave. residents do. They run stop lights (particularly at Summit Ave. and Lexington) and biking clubs want four in a row so they can talk. There are other streets that can be a used - Marshal Ave.. that don't have the amount of traffic, parking and uniqueness. Or have one sidewalk turned into biking lane and the other side of the street kept for walking. Just another bad city plan to kill a neighborhood and Grand Ave. that people have worked hard and put a lot of financial investment to regentrify. How about putting this money towards fixing streets in general!"
Deborah Rathman
"I thought everyone should read or listen to this NPR interview about our nation's need to protect tree canopies. Cities are losing trees — fast. But it's not too late to change that"
Mary Beth Coonan
"Please look at the NUMBERS of citizens impacted by this EARLY DRAFT of a bike trail — from the residents … to the neighbors who walk Summit regularly EVEN IN THE 6-7 MONTHS OF WINTER … to the members of the church congregations and schools’ student bodies …. to the citizens of St. Paul who proudly drive their visiting friends down our city’s historic roadway. WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS of these impacted groups vs. the numbers of active cyclists? ETHICALLY SPEAKING, AREN’T WE REQUIRED TO SERVE THE GREATER GOOD???"
Mary Beth Coonan
"I wholeheartedly support keeping Summit Ave as historic St.Paul’s legacy without tree removal or change in roadways."
John Coonan
"As residents of Summit Avenue, we feel the individuals most familiar with the current "abilities" of this nationally recognized historic avenue - have been ignored. We witness the activity on Summit Avenue 24 hours daily 365 days each year, and feel the current effort by 'City and Park Planners' is simply planning for bicycle interests... ignoring the automobile traffic and parking needs, ignoring all pedestrian interests, but especially ignoring needs of taxpaying residential owners. Please wake-up and slow down this study, so you can come to a rational plan that reflects the current possibilities of bicycles on Summit! Your sole focus bicycles won't do!"
Jon Jacobson
"Public Works Director Sean Kershaw now is falsely telling us that Summit Avenue must be fully reconstructed at a cost of $100 million, "so let’s include with it a raised bike trail for only another $12 million." This "argument" didn’t materialize until a few months ago, after his trail plan began getting major push back from 2,500 petitioners (the vast majority not living on Summit Avenue) who strongly prefer and are lobbying for a less intrusive and equally safe on-street bike trail. According to the Public Works Department website of scheduled major street reconstruction through 2052, one third of Summit Avenue does not require any reconstruction, with one third slated for reconstruction after 2032, and the final third in the 2040s. At a cost of $100 million, or $20 million per mile, do we need to spend this money now for work not needed, or for work many decades in the future? Bravo for Mayor Carter having a $100 million surplus with no higher priority than this fever dream. If our city has an extra $112 million dollars sitting around and our highest need is to retrofit an historic boulevard with a suburban style bike trail for a handful of privileged bikers, heaven help us all. Let’s put a hold on this nonsense and spend this $112 million on seriously needed infrastructure projects before the rest of the Metro area realizes how stupid we are. Patrick Contardo Saint Paul, Minnesota"
Patrick Contardo
"Dear City Leaders, I ask you to please vote NO on the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan. If you are considering a yes vote – what would it take to change your mind? Would the fact that hundreds of trees would be lost? Would the fact that building a regional trail on Summit Avenue will negatively impact the livability of the avenue for all its’ residents? The plan wants to close down intersections that give the neighborhood accessibility. And the intersections that remain will make vehicle turning to or from Summit hazardous because the regional trail is separated from the driving lane. Would the fact that one segment of Summit Avenue will lose 50% of the available parking? For that segment on Summit Avenue parking will be eliminated from one side of the roadway. When that happens, how will disabled residents access transportation when there is no place for a vehicle to park in front of their home other than to block traffic? Would the fact that there are 150 driveways that need to be crossed causing safety issues for the homeowners (and bikers) change your mind? The homes with driveways (of which I am one) will need to stop twice before entering traffic. As the plan is drawn now, when I back out of my driveway once I clear the pedestrian sidewalk, I now must stop and look again for the bikers before proceeding, once I clear the bike trail as I’m waiting to enter Summit Avenue at the end of my driveway, I will be blocking the bike lane. If I’m blocking the bike lane while waiting for traffic: do you think the bikers will stop and wait for me? No, they will bike around on the grass destroying the boulevard. Another driveway issue is in the wintertime, I will now have not only the Summit Avenue plow ridge to clear from the end of my driveway but will also need to clear the plow ridge(s) from the bike lane that will block my driveway. Would the fact the studies have shown that a raised bike trail separated from the roadway may not be safer? More accidents are caused when there are a high number of conflict points such as intersections and driveways. Having a high visibility lane next to traffic on the same level will make for a safer Summit Avenue bike lane. Would the fact that the city’s own consultants said not to change the curbs on Summit Avenue? They said to minimize any changes or no change. Advice that is being ignored. A yes vote is a vote that will destroy a city, state, and national treasure. Do you really want to do that? Making Summit Avenue into a regional trail will take away its’ status as a residential avenue thereby negating its legacy of being a national treasure. Why would you want to do that? There are many more concerns about this plan. There are other options in the city that travel through a more park like area. So once again I ask you, please vote NO on the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan. Thank you kindly for your time, Jan Hohn 1190 Summit Avenue St. Paul, MN 5105"
Jan Hohn
"Hello,  I have lived and worked on and near Summit Ave for the past 28 years.  I have chosen to live in this part  of St Paul because of the beauty and history that lines Summit Avenue.  I teach at St Thomas More Catholic School and have been there since 1995; we, as a school love and use our "front yard" on Summit and the devastation that seems to be planned for this glorious street is heartbreaking on every level. I walk on Summit with friends and family; I ride my bike on Summit.  I enjoy the variety of houses, trees, people, the busyness of life on this grand street and am appalled at the destruction that seems to be planned.  Summit Avenue is a gem, known to all as the longest street of Victorian houses in the US.  Tearing out and mutilating the trees will destroy the character and seasonality of this beautiful street. The people who live on and around Summit pay large amounts of property taxes and to reduce the value of these properties by debasing the street is ludicrous.  I will see you on Thursday at the meeting. Molli Maier625 Grand Ave"
Molli Maier
"Please save our trees and green space! Do not change Summit ave."
Robyn Halsten
"I dont even understand how the City can think of moving forward with this priject. It needs to stop now!"
Shelly Easton
"Dear Parks Commission Members, Summit Avenue is a street. It is not a country lane, nor a meadow, and it does not inhabit a State Park. Specifically, it’s a residential street. From Merriam-Webster: a: a thoroughfare especially in a city, town, or village wider than an alley or lane and that usually includes sidewalks b: the part of a street reserved for vehicles c: a thoroughfare with abutting property The 2nd definition talks of vehicles: horse drawn carriages are vehicles, cars are vehicles; so are bicycles. Bicycle clubs must run on the roadway because they go too fast for the proposed regional trail. And a bicycle lane will be gone. That means bicycle club members will ‘share’ the road with motorized vehicles, and that comes close to guaranteeing bicyclists getting killed. How many police will be on duty when the thousands of bicyclists grope for right of way on their ‘protected’ run in front of resident’s houses? How many police will be present to keep electric bikes, which easily go 15mph and thus are a hazard, off the new lane? How many police will be present to keep everyone but bicyclists—that includes walkers, runners, skate boarders, motorized wheelchairs, etc.—off the path? How many police will be present to keep bicyclists from resting on personal property without permission? No proponent has guaranteed that snow removal for the path will be in the city budget. No proponent has guaranteed path maintenance will be in the city budget. No proponent has guaranteed a minimum removal of trees: look at the destruction of Cleveland Avenue’s tree population, which the city said would not happen. The only purported reason for this proposal is the ready federal cash for it, which is soon to disappear if not requested. In short, the proposal envisions turning a street into a trail, something no street is meant to be. The proposal requires everyone to agree that bicycles are more important than vehicular traffic, and that the necessary cash will soon disappear; so a plastic street definition is acceptable and residential concerns can be ignored. Throw this proposal away and wait for a more incisive and globally accepted version to appear. Respectfully, Bill Hohn"
Bill Hohn
"I came to Saint Paul in 1981 for my first job. I drove down the full length of Summit and was amazed at its beauty. I decided this area was where I wanted to live and by 1984 I was here living in and rehabbing an old house. Now the city wants to ruin what attracted us in the first place. Very sad."
Paul Zenner
"This proposed bike path is not only dangerous (instead of providing “safety”), financially irresponsible (it would be removing infrastructure that has only been recently added, i.e. wasteful), and it will decimate our beautiful, historical Avenue!"
Lara Duddingston