ST PAUL, Minn. — The public was invited to a hearing on Summit Avenue to discuss plans to turn the historic street into a regional trail system between downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River.
David McLaughlin has lived on Summit Avenue for five decades. His parents bought Summit Manor when he was one year old.
“My mom started the Ramsey Hill Association and all the neighborhood groups to get this area saved and preserved as a national historic area,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin is part of a group called Save Summit Avenue that is against the proposal.
He says he wants to protect his mother’s work.
“For us, it’ll affect our business,” said McLaughlin. “We’ll lose a lot of our parking.”
His group is worried about a number of modifications, including parking, curbs, and the tree canopy.
“We’ve already lost so many trees to Dutch elm disease,” he said. “I would be really sad if we spent all this emotional energy trying to save the trees and then this project damages even more.”
A point of contention is the proposed modification to the bike lane, which would move them to be level with the sidewalk.
Zack Mensinger is the co-chair for the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition, whose group will also be at tonight’s meeting.
“The biggest issue is that that bike lane is pretty narrow,” said Mensinger.
He says just like the roads, the bike paths are in need of a desperate revamp.
“One of our biggest concerns is just making sure that people are safe when they're out doing this fun activity,” he said.
Saint Paul's City Council as well as the Metropolitan Council will need to approve the plan.
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