TRANSPORTATION NEWS

City e-mails updates on Nicollet reconstruction John Dybvig, aide to City Councilmember Scott Benson (11th Ward) has started an e-mail list for updates on the Nicollet Avenue paving reconstruction project.

The project has closed the street between 46th Street and Minnehaha Parkway since this spring. It is set to reopen Oct. 15, at least a month later than scheduled. Additional work will stretch into 2004.

To get on Dybvig's e-mail list send an e-mail to: e-mail: [email protected] [email protected]@ci.minneapolis. mn.us.

The $4 million project consists of road, curb, gutter and sidewalk replacement, plus the addition of greenspace. No traffic lanes or parking areas will be changed, but a left-turn lane will be added on Nicollet Avenue turning onto West 50th Street.

The project was delayed more than a month because of utility work done by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy Minnegasco. Dybvig said city scheduling has impeded the construction process, but the work has been started and the road should reopen soon. -- Robyn Repya

West 50th restriping delayed until at least next spring A late-summer timeline to implement the controversial West 50th Street redesign project came and went. With the winter almost in sight, Hennepin County officials are setting their sights on next spring at the earliest to start the restriping project, which would change West 50th from a four-lane road to three lanes with a center left-turn lane.

The project delay occurred because of city traffic light work and Hennepin County staff haggling with business owners to minimize lost parking. The county's goal is to slow traffic and make West 50th a safer street.

Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman said a majority of West 50th business owners on the redesign task force support the plan after recent adjustments.

The current plan lists a loss of five spaces at the France Avenue node, eight spaces on Xerxes Avenue node, 27 spaces at the Penn Avenue node and 38 spaces at the Bryant Avenue node.

Lynn Gaspardo, owner of Doin' the Dishes, 3008 W. 50th St., said Xerxes-node businesspeople are happy with the adjusted plan that restored almost all lost parking.

However Dick Henke, owner of the Malt Shop at Bryant Avenue said the plan is worse for Bryant businesses because parking will be removed from near the corners where businesses are.

He said he wants the project delayed further until the Bryant node business owners can solidify off-street parking for customers. However, Henke said he's encouraged and is not giving up on working something out.

Dorfman said the city plans to complete the traffic-signal update next spring, so the West 50th restriping should start in late spring or early summer. In the meantime, she said she's still working with the Bryant Avenue business node to see if they can design a way to keep more parking spaces. -- Robyn Repya