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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Comments at Wayzata Boulevard Reconstruction open house overwhelmingly in support of medians

The Wayzata City Council recently approved the mill and overlay of Wayzata Boulevard from Superior to Old Highway 12, subject to an open house on the topic. The open house was held Tuesday, July 12 from 5-8 pm at City Hall, where community members voiced their concerns.

Residents express their concers about the Wayzata Boulevard resurfacing project. Photo Dan Gustafson.
The proposed construction is set to include resurfacing the pavement and the addition of missing sidewalk space in some locations. It will also include narrowing of the existing street width to increase boulevards and provide for traffic calming. However, the existing plan does not include the median desired by the majority of the twenty community members who left comment cards at the open house.  Seventeen were pro median, one against, and two comment cards were related to parking and school zones.

Homeowner Karen Heinrich voiced her opinion, "The Wayzata Blvd project should increase safety, walkablity, neighborhood interaction and general attractiveness, all of which increase property values. The current proposal makes progress in those areas but doesn’t maximize the potential, as the previously discussed center median / boulevard vision did."

Matt Brinza of Wayzata noted, "The proposal seems to be engineered rather than designed. Designing for cars, people, and families of Wayzata rather than just for vehicles using Wayzata Boulevard as a through fare."

A few community members were satisfied with portions of the proposed plan. Mary Himes of Wayzata said, "I am pleased to see the new sidewalks!"

In addition to the mill and overlay resurfacing, bump outs are in consideration. Cory Devor of Wayzata commented, "It would be great to shorten cross walk length with bump outs!"

"I encourage the council to endorse the 'build it and they will come' concept," Lynn McCarthy of Wayzata voiced her opinion.

Irene Stemmer and Director of Public Works Dave Dudinsky exchange ideas. Photo Dan Gustafson.
Mayor Ken Willcox gave his impression of the open house the day after, " It was better attended than I had expected and even brought in people who lived some distance from the boulevard.  Still others who even lived in neighboring communities, but who care about Wayzata." Willcox commented about the purpose of the meeting, "There were some misconceptions of what the city was proposing and why, so there was a fair education component."

City Engineer Mike Kelly indicated via email, "I think the open house went well. Lots of interested residents."

The council will meet next Tuesday to review the comments. What impact they have on the project moving forward remains to be seen. Funds for the proposed project will come from an existing TIF district.

The proposed work is scheduled to begin in late August and will be completed in 6-8 weeks.

For questions or comments leave them in the box below or email wayzata@gmail.com.

Stay tuned to Wayzata.com, your Wayzata Boulevard reconstruction leader.

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