Friendly Streets Initiative Makes Streets More Friendly For All

July 26, 2011

Content and photos provided by Lily Gordon-Koven, HECUA CCIP Intern, Central Corridor Friendly Streets Initiative

In May 2010, the St. Paul City Council adopted the Bike Walk Central Corridor Action Plan, which includes a bike boulevard on Charles Avenue from Prior Avenue to Mackubin Street as one of its key priorities. In response, Hamline Midway Coalition and Frogtown Neighborhood Association jointly formed the Central Corridor Friendly Streets Initiative to address, in a comprehensive way, the design and use of Edmund, Charles, and Sherburne Avenues between Aldine Street (on the west) and Rice Street (on the east). These streets will soon see significant changes in travel behavior and traffic patterns due to the construction and ensuing operation of the LRT line on University.

Friendly Streets 1 This summer, the Friendly Streets initiative, with support from a Funders Collaborative Catalyst Fund grant, is hosting a series of six block   parties along Charles in the Hamline Midway and Frogtown neighborhoods to introduce residents to various techniques available to make streets more "friendly" (i.e. attractive, safe, and accessible for multiple modes and all users), including placemaking, public art, and traffic calming techniques. Input gathered at these block parties will be used to guide future design of streets in the project area.

Friendly Streets 2The Friendly Streets Initiative and Hamline Midway neighbors enjoyed another successful Block Party last Friday, July 22, on Charles Avenue between Pascal and Albert Streets. Neighborhood residents gathered to learn about street design and placemaking, providing their feedback on ideas for Charles Avenue and contributing their own visions for the future of our streets. Neighbors filled out surveys and shared their opinions on different ideas ranging from public sculptures to bicycle-friendly speed bumps to street sports using color-coded post-its notes on images. Placemaking artists (Rudy, Conie, and Molly) worked on two separate projects: Neighborhood Flags and Vacant Heart, both of which utilized flags to cultivate a sense of place and pride in the neighborhood. Kids had a great time creating colorful works of art with a child's bicycle specifically designed to power a 'spin-art' machine and guests enjoyed snacks from On's Thai Kitchen and ice cream from Izzy's Ice Cream.
Everyone is invited to come learn, share, create, and eat! The block parties are free and open to the public, with the next block party taking place:
Friday, July 29
3:30-7:30 p.m.
Charles Avenue between Milton and Victoria
For more information on Friendly Streets and upcoming events, visit or contact Lily at

Upcoming Events & Opportunities
Friday, July 29: Equity Summit 2011 Scholarship Application deadline

The Corridors of Opportunity Engagement Team is offering a scholarship of up to $800 to attend Equity Summit 2011, the fourth national PolicyLink Summit. Learn more about the Summit being held November 8-11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan, and submit an application by the deadline on Friday.

Tuesday, August 2: Ready for Rail Small Business Loan Information Session
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Central Corridor Resource Center, 1080 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN

Wednesday, August 24: The Big Picture Project Community Forum #2 – Reviewing the Options
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, St. Paul, MN