South Shore Boulevard Trail Design (Lake Links Trail)

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Final design 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 to develop plans for 2022 construction. The design will include a two-way road with a trail from White Bear Avenue to McKnight Avenue and a one-way road with a trail from McKnight Avenue to County Road F.  

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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Timeline

Project goals

Layout

2018 preliminary study

Community engagement

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September 2021 open house

An open house was held Sept. 30 to share the refined trail and road designs and construction information.

May 2021 open house

An open house was held May 26 to share the preferred design, listen to feedback from the community and answer questions.

2020 open houses

May 2020 online open house

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.

August 2020 open house - postponed

Based on the large amount of feedback shared during the 2018 study and May 2020 open house, the project team determined they had enough input to complete the proposed layout and postponed the second open house planned for August 2020.

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