Bemidji Walkable Community Workshop

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), in partnership with the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) and other community leaders, held a Virtual Walkable Community Workshop for South Bemidji in April, 2022 to support the community’s efforts to make walking a practical, safe, comfortable, and enjoyable mode of transportation.  Using technical assistance provided by Alta Planning + Design, as well as, $5,000 in grant funding, a subset of those who attended the workshop are requesting to implement a demonstration project in South Bemidji, Nymore area.  Demonstration projects are short-term, low-cost, temporary roadway projects used to pilot potential long-term design solutions to improve walking, bicycling, and public spaces.

MDH logo

In August of 2021, JPB and the City of Bemidji became aware of the Virtual Walkable Community Workshop Project and JPB staff was asked to participate. Staff worked with the Project group to create and collect a survey from stakeholders (Government Agencies and Departments, Non-Profits, and Community Leaders) in October of 2021. This survey gave us insight into where Stakeholders believed the City, County, and MNDOT were missing infrastructure to support safe, comfortable, and inclusive walkability and bike ability. Based on this survey, an area of the city was selected for the Virtual Walkable Community Workshop.

Though the Workshop was looking at a different section of the Nymore area, the Workshop was able to bring together more stakeholders and had great feedback. A smaller subset of the workshop participants continues to engage and have come to the following Demonstration Project:

Location: Gould Ave NE/SE & 1st St E/W. This location was selected to improve the safety of children walking to and from school at Lincoln Elementary and residents in the Nymore area to access the Bemidji Trail System.

Design: The project is a demonstration protected intersection that will slow vehicle speeds, increase the visibility of people walking and biking and shorten the crossing distance for people walking, while allowing school buses to turn safely. The team is coordinating with Sam Anderson, Assistant City Engineer and Marica Larson, Parks & Recreation Director to bring this Project into fruition. Guidance on the use of green bike crossings can be found in the MnDOT Bicycle Facility Design Manual (page 4-10).

Control for the project installation and removal has been requested from the City Streets Department. Removal of the Installation would be October before the snow season.

Community Engagement: The Virtual Walkable Community Workshop Group welcomes feedback and suggestions from the community and looks forward to providing the outcome information to the City.

 

Concept drawing of the intersection

WCW Concept

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