South Shore Boulevard Design Study (Lake Links Trail)

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A design study is underway for a proposed 1.5 mile multi-use trail along South Shore Boulevard from White Bear Avenue to County Road F. The trail will connect White Bear Avenue in the City of White Bear Lake to East County Line Road in White Bear Township, with a goal of improving pedestrian and bicyclist connectivity, comfort, safety and access.

The county is working with the City of White Bear Lake and White Bear Township to identify a preferred layout from three options for further analysis, including how the options impact local services, neighboring properties, utilities, wetlands, etc.

Once complete, the South Shore Boulevard trail would be part of the Lake Links Trail network, a series of planned trail segments that create a continuous system around White Bear Lake and connect into several of the area’s existing and planned trail corridors.

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  • December 2019 – March 2020: Develop concepts.
  • Spring and summer 2020: Collect resident and stakeholder feedback. A final layout will be created based on the selected design and feedback.
  • October 2020: Finish preliminary design.
  • 2021: Develop final design plans.
  • Spring/summer 2022: Construction (dependent on availability of project funds).

2018 preliminary design study

A preliminary design study was completed in 2018 that identified six options to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic. This study ranked the alternatives, but the project team ultimately determined there was no ideal option and a more in-depth study was needed.

Read 2018 preliminary design report

Community engagement

August open house postponed

Ramsey County is currently refining the details of the proposed project with the City of White Bear Lake and White Bear Township. A detailed layout is expected to be available in late October. Based on the large amount of feedback shared in 2018 and during this May’s open house, the project team has enough input to complete the next proposed layout and has postponed the second open house originally planned for August 2020.

The next open house will be held as part of the final design process in 2021 to obtain public feedback on design details.

May virtual open house summary

Content: Preliminary layout options, video presentation with slides, online survey and interactive mapping application.

Response: 171 survey responses, 194 Wikimap users and 19 direct phone calls or emails. A summary report of feedback is available upon request.

Layout preference: Surveys showed a preference for the hybrid option over other options. Several comments also indicated that either the hybrid or one-way option would be acceptable.

Priority ranking: Responses showed a clear preference for safety improvements over all other rankings, with bicycle and pedestrian experience/access coming second. The remaining priorities received a more mixed response.

  • Common themes:
    • Regardless of alignment, a trail would be much safer for users of all ages.
      • Reduced speed, safer crossings, and mode separation were top concerns.
      • Liked opportunity to connect to other trail systems, and preferred a wider trail.
    • Desire to get the project completed as soon as possible.
    • Limit property impacts and cost:
      • Retain areas for parking or loading/unloading, and space for dock winter storage.
      • Reduce obstruction of lake views - bury power lines and no boulevard trees.
      • Keep impact limited to existing roadway footprint.
    • Roadway needs maintenance and drainage solutions.