Project Update: November 2022
We had amazing public engagement in November!
This month consisted of our second planning team meeting along with a walk-shop, bike-shop, and mapping workshop.
Planning Team Meeting
We refined the vision and goal statements that we had brainstormed at the kick-off meeting. The revised versions are:
Vision: A scenic and unique trail experience connecting people and places.
- QUALITY OF LIFE: Provide a safe and accessible trail that instills community pride.
- CONNECTIONS: Strengthen the physical, social, visual, and transportation connections throughout the community.
- TOURISM: Attract visitors to Albert Lea and Freeborn County to share our trail experience.
- HEALTH: Improve health and wellness through outdoor activities for all.
To get a first-hand feel for biking in the city and to view the railroad corridor, about 25 excited residents and city staff rode bikes from Front Street to Euclid Avenue, Adams Avenue, under Main Street, and north to West Clark Street. We stopped along the way to discuss issues and opportunities, such as potential uses for the old train depot. From there, we headed east to downtown, south on Broadway Avenue bike lanes, then east on Front Street bike lanes to the Blazing Star State Trail trailhead. As a group, we recapped our experiences along the ride and discussed what a new trail along the former railroad would mean for each of us.
Nearly 20 participants walked from Shoff Park (where the trail would pass along the northern boundary) to Lakeview Elementary School and to the intersection of Summer Avenue and West Fountain Street. The principal of Lakeview Elementary met with us to discuss student needs related to walking and biking to school and concerns associated with the crossing of West Fountain Street. We discussed ways to improve the crossing of West Fountain Street with the trail project.
We had spectacular attendance at the evening mapping workshop with about 35 participants! The consultant team provided a short project overview, summary of the Active Transportation Program process, and facilitated a corridor mapping workshop. The attendees broke into 6 groups and identified desired connections to/from the trail, difficult crossings, priority segments for construction, and ideas for amenities along the route. (photo 7197 – mapping workshop)