Park Perspective July 2017
Contents 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Emerald ash borer treatment New utility bill pay service Multi-family organics drop-sites Vision 3.0 wrap up Pedestrian safety City council chambers remodel Voting information
Welcome to the city’s new website! Last month a new look debuted for the city’s website at stlouispark.org. Sporting a slimmed-down home page, improved navigation and an updated, mobile-friendly design, the new website is the result of months of data collection, user group testing and resident and staff input. Users should find it easy to complete tasks like paying a utility bill, finding permit applications, reporting an issue, learning the latest news from the city and much more. Be sure to visit stlouispark.org and take it for a test drive! If you have feedback or questions, contact Jacqueline Larson, communications and marketing manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952.924.2632.
The Park Perspective is printed on 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper in an effort to meet the city’s environmentally preferable purchasing policy.
5005 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, MN 55416-2216
City Hall (7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) .............................952.924.2500 Emergency.............................................................911 Police (non-emergency)...............................952.924.2618 Municipal Service Center...........................952.924.2562 Winter Parking Hotline................................952.924.2180 The Rec Center...................................................952.924.2540 Westwood Hills Nature Center..............952.924.2544
St. Louis Park residents invited to join the PulsePoint community
For city events, activities and news, visit stlouispark.org.
nextdoor.com facebook.com/stlouispark twitter.com/stlouispark Make service requests or receive city information via the app or visit
PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Twin Cities Permit No. 603
Park Perspective is published by the City of St. Louis Park to provide residents with city news.
The St. Louis Park Fire Department is now participating in PulsePoint, a smart phone app that allows CPR-trained citizens to provide lifesaving assistance to nearby victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
“With hundreds of people of all ages coming to our site each week, it is the responsible thing for us to be prepared for the unfortunate,” said Derek Reise, STEP executive director.
App users who have indicated they are trained in CPR and willing to assist in an emergency are notified if someone nearby requires CPR. If the cardiac emergency is in a public place and 9-1-1 has been called, the app alerts trained citizens in the vicinity of the need for bystander CPR, along with the dispatch of police, fire and EMS crews. The app also directs citizen rescuers to the exact location of the closest publicly accessible AED (automated external defibrillator).
“STEP is a nonprofit organization accustomed to spending limited funds on only what is needed right now. Thanks to the leadership of our volunteers Barb and George Hagemann, who donated to cover the cost of the AED and associated training, we are being responsible to our community,” said Reise.
“When minutes matter, the PulsePoint system offers the opportunity to get a trained person administering CPR as soon as possible,” said St. Louis Park Fire Department Chief Steve Koering. “This will be a powerful tool in our efforts to increase cardiac survival rates in St. Louis Park, and we encourage CPR-trained residents to download the app.” In anticipation of the PulsePoint rollout, the St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) a community food shelf and social service agency, has installed an AED (automatic external defibrillator) and staff members are undergoing CPR/AED training.
See page 8 for important election info!
The need for AEDs and CPR training is personal to Barb Hagemann, who while at a grocery store used an AED to revive a person experiencing cardiac arrest. Both of the Hagemanns are CPR trained and anticipate serving as responders for PulsePoint in St. Louis Park. PulsePoint is a free app and can be downloaded from Apple and from Google Play. For more information, visit pulsepoint.org. Residents who would like to arrange for training or a refresher in hands-only CPR or AED use may contact Nancy Schmelzle, St. Louis Park Fire Department community outreach coordinator, at email@example.com or 952.300.1413.
Swimming pool tips Sprinkling ordinance conserves water Summer’s here and it’s time to jump in the pool to beat the heat. Nothing’s more fun when swimming with the family but please keep in mind when it’s time to drain or backwash your outdoor swimming pool, the following tips will help protect the environment and our water resources: • Don’t add chlorine for a minimum of three days prior to draining pool water. • Don’t drain pool water directly into a surface water like a pond or wetland. • D o direct drainage to green spaces, such as your lawn, and not to hard surfaces like the street or driveway. • Do control drainage to prevent erosion. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offers Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Water Discharges Best Management Practices. You may also contact Erick Francis, water resources engineer, City of St. Louis Park, at 952.924.2690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water your trees wisely All trees, even mature ones, need water. Significant changes in climate patterns are impacting entire ecosystems. Our urban landscapes are not immune to these changes. In fact, trees in urban areas are more prone to drought damage and death than natural stands of trees. The best solution to help trees through a drought is to water your trees! Trees that don’t receive enough water are unable to create new growth. When this happens, root development is reduced and wound formation restricted. As trees reach this stage, they start to shut down and become targets for diseases and insects that can kill them. The best place to apply water differs for newly planted and established trees:
Permanent restrictions In an effort to conserve water, St. Louis Park prohibits lawn sprinkling between noon and 6 p.m. In addition, all households and businesses must follow an odd/even schedule when sprinkling lawns. Properties that end with an odd number sprinkle on odd-numbered days on the calendar; properties that end with an even number sprinkle on even-numbered days. Additional conservation measures may be required during critical water shortages. These can include limiting watering to once every five days or banning all outdoor sprinkling. Should this situation arise, a public notice will be given. Exceptions New sod or seed, and newly planted shrubs, trees and landscaping are exempt from the odd/even schedule. Flower gardens are also exempt. Even in these circumstances, however, sprinkling must be done before noon or after 6 p.m. Enforcement Currently, failing to follow sprinkling restrictions can result in an initial fine of $25 with subsequent violations rising by $10. For example, the second violation is $35; the third violation is $45, etc.
Newly planted trees: Immediately after planting, all tree roots are in the original root ball area. Until new roots grow into the soil of the planting site, water the original root ball area and just beyond this area. The root ball area may dry out faster than the surrounding soil, so check the moisture in this area frequently for the first month or two after planting. Established trees: Don’t irrigate the area directly adjacent to the trunk - this can increase the risk of disease. Roots extend far beyond the edge of canopy or drip line. Water in the drip line area by placing a hose, at trickle speed, in one spot of the drip line area for 30 minutes and move to another drip line spot and repeat. A mature tree on a sunny summer/fall day can use more than 150 gallons of water per day. Water deeply rather than frequently. Because most tree roots are found in the upper 18 – 24 inches of the soil, this is the zone that should be wetted up in each irrigation cycle. A lawn sprinkler is insufficient for deep watering purposes; let the water trickle out of the hose in order for water to penetrate past the turf grass roots.
Emerald ash borer treatment underway In preparation for the inevitable arrival of emerald ash borer (EAB), the City of St. Louis Park has contracted with Rainbow Treecare to treat public ash trees (only the highest quality trees) growing along boulevards and in parks with a preventive insecticide. A citywide bulk discount is available and offered through 2017 for St. Louis Park homeowners for trees on private property that are at least 10 inches in diameter and in good physical condition. Ash trees rarely show signs of light-to-moderate EAB infestation, making the early infestations difficult to diagnose. By the time the symptoms are obvious, it may be too late to protect or save the tree. The cost to treat a large, healthy ash tree on private property for 10-20 years is substantially less than the price of tree and stump removal and tree replacement.
The injection period runs the entire growing season, so you still have plenty of time to get your trees injected this year. If you are interested in taking advantage of the city’s injection discount, contact Rainbow Treecare at 952.767.6920 or rainbowtreecare.com/stlouispark.
New & Improved Bill Pay Service
Now available in HD on Comcast cable system ParkTV is now available in high definition (HD) on Comcast channel 859! This means that your favorite ParkTV events can now be seen on Comcast cable TV in glorious high resolution wide screen format as they are on CenturyLink Prism TV or ParkTV’s YouTube channel. Starting with the city council meeting on June 19, the ParkTV HD channel 859 simulcasts live public meeting coverage from city hall. Meetings may be seen in the usual standard definition (SD) location on channel 17. ParkTV HD channel 859 shows the best of ParkTV productions, while the other ParkTV channels continue their existing niches. For example, council meetings replay five days per week on Civic TV channel 17; On Location channel 16 specializes in sports and concerts; and Community TV channels 15 and 96 show a wide variety of programs including church services on the weekend; and ParkTV14 shows school board meetings, musical performances and varsity sports. Find out what’s playing on ParkTV HD channel 859 on the web at parktv.org, along with the schedules for the other ParkTV channels.
St. Louis Park hires new community development director The City of St. Louis Park is pleased to announce that Karen Barton will join the city as community development director starting July 17, 2017. Barton is currently assistant community development director for the City of Richfield, a position she has held since January 2008. “Throughout the interview process Karen impressed us with her experience and skills,” said Harmening. “We look forward to her taking the helm of the city’s community development department, where one of her first big tasks will be to oversee development of the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update, using data gathered in the Vision 3.0 process.” As community development director, Barton will lead the divisions of planning and zoning, housing and economic development and redevelopment. She will also be responsible for developing recommendations to the St. Louis Park City Council, Economic Development Authority, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and Housing Authority Board on issues, initiatives and programs related to land use, zoning, economic development and redevelopment, and housing. Barton’s experience prior to Richfield includes positions with Arden Hills, Crystal and Brooklyn Center and Hennepin and Anoka counties, as well as in the private sector. She has a bachelor’s of science degree in housing and community development from the University of Minnesota College of Architecture and several accreditations from the International Economic Development Council and International Development Council.
ParkTV program information is also available on the Comcast program guide. Simply press “guide” or “info” on your Comcast TV remote control to see the description of the current program, and scroll forward to find out about future programming. This makes ParkTV programming easy to record on a DVR. For more information about ParkTV, contact Jacqueline Larson at 952.924.2632.
On track with Southwest LRT The Southwest LRT will operate on a route from downtown Minneapolis through St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie, passing in close proximity to Edina. The line will include 15 new stations – three in St. Louis Park – and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, Northstar Commuter Rail Line, and many bus routes, and proposed future transitways. The total estimated project cost of $1.858 billion will be funded by the Metropolitan Council and project partners through a mix of federal, state and local sources, with federal funds making up approximately half the total. For more information and to sign up for email updates visit http://bit.ly/2swmejG.
Pay onli ne, by phon e or by tex t
The City of St. Louis Park has partnered with InvoiceCloud, a web-based, electronic invoice presentment and payment company, to provide faster, more convenient utility billing services to our customers. The new online payment and e-bill service will offer residents more flexibility in paying their bills (including auto-pay, scheduled recurring payments, pay by text and pay by phone). The system is easy to use and allows residents to pay bills with either a bank account or credit/debit card.
Important items to note: Automatic Bill Pay (Checking/Savings) - If you were previously enrolled for automatic payments through your checking or savings account, your information has been transferred to the new system. These payments will continue on future due dates. Please register your account to make any changes. Credit/Debit Card - If you were previously set up for automatic payments with a credit or debit card, your payments will not continue on future due dates and you will need to register your account to set up and make changes. Under “Services” select “AutoPay” to add your card information. E-Billing - If you were previously enrolled in E-Billing you will need to re-register your account and go to “Manage my paperless settings.” You will receive a paper bill rather than an email for your next billing cycle with your account number. New format of Account Number: Your account number is an 18-digit number, which is a combination of your customer and account number separated by a dash, including leading zeros with no spaces. Example: Customer Number: 00012345 Account Number: 0012345678 Enter your account number as: 00012345-0012345678 New format of bill: The new bill format will incorporate the new account number format as well as increase the font size and contrast of items to increase readability.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project is currently in the engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts funding process. All five cities along the proposed alignment and Hennepin County have approved preliminary design plans for Southwest LRT. Heavy construction is scheduled to take place between 2017 and 2021. Southwest LRT is expected to begin passenger service as an extension of the METRO Green Line in 2021.
“My 20-plus-year career has provided me with extensive experience in all facets of community and economic development,” said Barton. “I am excited about the opportunity to apply those skills working for such an innovative and progressive community.” The community development department had been led for the past 13 years by Kevin Locke, who began a phased retirement program effective May 1, 2017. He has transitioned from community development director to part-time Southwest Light Rail Transit project specialist for the city.
Visit invoicecloud.com/stlouisparkmn to make a one-time payment or register and manage your account.
Holiday garbage, recycling and organics collection If a holiday falls on the weekend, there will be no delayed collection. If a holiday falls during the week, collection will be delayed by one day all week through Saturday (9 a.m. through 6 p.m.).
Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 No collection on Monday. Collection delayed one day all week.
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 No collection on Thursday. Thursday and Friday collection will be delayed by one day.
Tips for cleaner carts Washing your garbage, recycling and organics carts out is a good practice to keep your carts clean. Washing carts prevents sticky and potentially smelly residue from building up inside your cart. A dirty cart may attract insects or animals, like squirrels and raccoons. These unwanted animals are known to chew through carts and lids, causing damage and litter. Consider these tips for washing your carts and keeping them clean between collections: • After your carts are emptied for the week, put a little soap, vinegar or baking soda in the cart, lay it on its side and spray out the dirt and residue with a garden hose. Or put a couple of scrub buckets full of soapy water in the cart, and swish the inside with a long handled broom or mop. • Leave the cart tilted on its side or propped upside down to dry out. Make sure your cart is completely dry before filling it with garbage or recyclables again. • Remember, garbage must always be bagged and tied closed. Do not throw loose trash items in your cart. • Sprinkling a small amount of baking soda in the bottom of your cart after cleaning may help reduce odors and absorb liquids in between collections.
Christmas Day Monday, Dec. 25, 2017 No collection on Monday. Collection delayed one day all week.
Save the date – fall cleanup Sept. 23
New Year's Day
Mark your calendars for the annual fall cleanup day, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. Louis Park Municipal Service Center, 7305 Oxford St. The event is for St. Louis Park residents only; personal ID is required.
Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 No collection on Monday. Collection delayed one day all week.
Contact Public Works at 952.924.2562 for more information.
Items collected for a charge Bulky items (broken, stained, or unusable furniture, toys, remodeling supplies, scrap wood, equipment, etc.), appliances and microwaves, CRT monitors and box/tube TVs, mattresses, box springs and tires.
Become a Recycling Champion
Please note: Recycling Box/Tube TVs and CRT monitors through Hennepin County’s drop-off facilities is significantly cheaper than other options, including the city cleanup event.
Many people learn best when they hear information from someone they know. This can be true when it comes to the topic of recycling as well. The City of St. Louis Park has launched a new program to train residents who are interested in gaining more knowledge about recycling and organics and serving as citizen-educators.
Items collected for free Bicycles, fluorescent bulbs, household batteries (no lead acid batteries or other types of vehicle batteries), computers (desktop towers and laptops) and peripherals (printers, keyboards, etc.), cell phones, VCR/DVD players, stereos, paper for shredding, scrap metal, shoes and textiles.
Recycling Champions will use the information they learn to be a resource in their neighborhood and community groups. This might include giving minipresentations at block parties or talking one-on-one with a neighbor who wants more information about what carts different items can go in.
Pricing is available online at www.stlouispark.org/garbage-recycling.html. Click on City Cleanup Days. You may also call Waste Management at 763.783.5423. Cash or checks only. If you have items to discard at other times of the year, check out Hennepin County’s Green Disposal Guide at hennepin.us/green-disposal-guide.
The first training for Recycling Champions was held in May, and another is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Recycling Champion, email email@example.com. An RSVP is requested for the training.
Too much recycling for your cart? Do you sometimes find yourself with more recyclables than will fit in your recycling cart? If so, you can still set the material out for recycling! Place the items in a paper grocery bag, cardboard box or your old green recycling tote and set it next to your recycling cart. Extra cardboard boxes must be broken down flat and cut or folded into pieces that are no more than 3’ by 3’ in size. Bundle the cardboard with twine or tape. Cardboard outside the cart that is too large or left loose will not be collected. If you find that your recycling far exceeds the size of your recycling cart or you have extra recyclables on a regular basis, you can also request a second recycling cart by contacting Utility Billing at 952.924.2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multi-family organics drop-sites
Help increase parks recycling Look for the city’s blue recycling carts when you visit city parks this summer. Help keep the recycling clean by emptying bottles and cans before you put them in the cart. If you have items like napkins, juice pouches, diapers, straws and plastic cutlery, please remember to dispose of them in the trash. If you notice a solo recycling cart, help us out by rolling it next to the nearest green trash cart. Making sure recycling and trash carts are paired helps reduce contamination and increases recycling.
More households are collecting food scraps for composting Did you know that one in four eligible households in St. Louis Park participates in the organics recycling program? These residents separate food scraps for weekly collection through the city’s organics recycling program. Participation has grown as residents find out there is no longer an extra fee to join. Your household may be one of the 1,000+ households that signed up in 2017 or perhaps you’ve been with the program since it started. Either way, you’ve helped us reach a 25 percent participation rate. Thank you! If you haven’t joined and would like to, contact Utility Billing at 952.924.2111 or email@example.com.
Save the date: Free clothing swap
Did you know that approximately 40 percent of St. Louis Park residents live in multi-family buildings? While state law and local ordinance require apartments and condos to provide recycling collection for their residents, there are no specific rules for organics recycling. On average, 30 percent of trash could be composted, but for most multi-family households the only option is the garbage. That’s a lot of food, coffee grounds and paper napkins being thrown away. To begin to address this issue, a pilot project including three convenient organics recycling drop-offs is available to multi-family households this summer. Residents who live in apartments or condos not served by the city’s curbside program can sign up to participate. The city will provide a starter kit of compostable bags and a guide so participants know what materials are acceptable. If the program is well received and contamination is minimal, the city intends to continue the program beyond the pilot. If you live in a multi-family building and would like more information or to sign up, contact Emily Barker, solid waste specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952.924.2187.
Wardrobe in need of an update? Bring clothing items that are no longer right for you and trade them in for "new" ones. All styles, sizes, and types of clothes, shoes and accessories are welcome. Bring as many clean/washed items as you'd like and take home as many items as you'd like. Worn/torn textiles will also be collected for recycling. Leftover items will be collected for charity, reuse or recycling. Event is in partnership with Do It Green! Minnesota.
Event is FREE and open to everyone. All ages and genders welcome! Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, 2 – 4 p.m. St. Louis Park Rec Center Banquet Room, 3700 Monterey Drive
Freezer boxes not accepted in organics program Did you know that items like freezer boxes, grease-resistant/coated paper plates and most paper drink cups are no longer accepted in organics recycling? These items have a thin plastic coating that is a problem in composting. The plastic breaks down into tiny pieces that can't be removed from the finished compost. For this reason, our composter has asked the city to remove these items from the acceptable materials lists. One of the city’s priorities is making sure that we contribute to clean compost by letting program participants know about this change. If you participate in the program, help us keep compost clean by placing frozen food boxes, fast food wrappers, wax paper, paper drink cups and decorative paper plates in the trash! The only exceptions are products labeled as BPI Certified Compostable, Cedar Grove Accepted or uncoated. Fortunately, you will find many of these items at restaurants here in St. Louis Park thanks to the requirements of the Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance; details available at slpmn.us/zerowastepackaging. If you're not sure, don't include it, or call Kala Fisher, solid waste program coordinator, at 952.924.2183 with questions.
input process wraps up
Green thinkers, unite! Check out the new Choose to Reuse website.
After several months of seeking community input through facilitator training, neighborhood meetings, community events, social media, surveys and more, the Vision 3.0 project is wrapping up! The nineperson steering committee meets in July to hear some of the major findings from the Vision process, followed by a discussion at a city council study session late this summer.
Keep usable stuff out of the trash and find quality items without buying new with the Hennepin County Choose to Reuse website, hennepin.us/choosetoreuse. The website is a gathering space for Twin Cities green thinkers that will help you make sustainable choices for everyday living. Features of the Choose to Reuse website include: • A listing of more than 600 local places to sell, donate, buy, repair, rent and share items. • A Google Maps function to locate reuse resources near your zip code. • “ Spotlight on Reuse” articles that take a deep dive into reuse topics, such as cloth diapering and the negatives of fast fashion. • Local event highlights to keep you in the loop on area Fix-It Clinics, neighborhood garage sales, classes and more. Choosing to reuse helps us live sustainably by reducing waste, protecting natural resources, conserving energy, preventing pollution and saving money. Learn more at hennepin.us/choosetoreuse.
Curbside collection of clothing, small home goods continues
Looking for a sneak peek at what themes are emerging from the process? As reported to the city council in May based on data available at the time, respondents overall love the city and their neighborhood; love police and fire services and feel safe; are concerned about traffic; would like to see more neighborhood and city activities; and would like to have more affordable housing. A report to the community will be prepared and presented this fall, with data from the Vision 3.0 project used to inform the process for the development of the city’s long-range plan – the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update. Thank you to all of the facilitators who assisted in gathering input from their friends and neighbors, and to the countless community members who provided thoughtful insights into how we can prepare for St. Louis Park’s future!
Residents who receive city recycling services can also participate in the clothing recycling program offered through partnership with Simple Recycling. Over 31,000 lbs. (15.6 tons) of material were collected in the first three-and-a-half months of the program! Materials accepted include: • Clothing, linens and fabric in any condition (including stained and torn) • Small home goods like decorations, cooking utensils and toys that are unbroken and still useable Many of these items are commonly disposed in the trash, even though several reuse and recycling options are available in our community. The city encourages residents to make use of the city’s collection program or other donation dropoff or pick-up options. Residents should be aware that the city’s program is not a donation program. How the program works: • Residents fill “Simple Recycling” orange bags with clothing, shoes and small home goods. • T ie bags shut and set out at the front curb on recycling collection day. Remember: Put bags at the curb, even if your recycling cart is collected in your alley. • Bags are collected on your recycling day and replacement bags will be left behind for you to fill again and set out on your next recycling day. • Material collected is sorted for reuse in thrift stores in the Midwest or sent overseas. Stained or ripped clothing is recycled into carpet padding, insulation or absorbent material for oil or chemical spills. If you did not receive orange bags or you need more, visit City Hall, The Rec Center or the Municipal Service Center. Bags may also be requested from Simple Recycling. For additional questions or to report a missed pick-up, residents should call Simple Recycling at 866.835.5068 or email email@example.com.
Public buildings, parks offer free Wi-Fi Go wireless in these St. Louis Park facilities: • St. Louis Park City Hall • St. Louis Park Police Department lobby • The Rec Center/Aquatic Park/ROC (Recreation Outdoor Center) • Municipal Service Center (MSC) • Westwood Hills Nature Center main building, picnic shelter building and brickhouse • Lenox Community Center • Public areas of Fire Stations 1 and 2 • Aquila, Birchwood, Browndale, Fern Hill, Louisiana Oaks, Nelson and Oak Hill park shelters and picnic shelter • Wolfe Park Pavilion, playground area and Veterans Memorial Amphitheater • West End Community Room and Atrium (located inside the ICON Theater building) Why Wi-Fi in the parks? Fiber is being extended to several city park buildings to provide security cameras and to allow remote locking and unlocking of bathroom facilities at park buildings. The security cameras are useful in dealing with issues of vandalism and dumping while the ability to make park restrooms available in an efficient way makes the parks more usable. Wi-Fi is very inexpensive to add once the fiber extension/connection is made, and makes our community and our parks more attractive for casual users as well as those who rent park shelters. Additionally, it fits the city council’s goals of making St. Louis Park a technology connected community and of advancing racial equity by providing free, public Wi-Fi access in as many public locations as possible for all residents and visitors.
Unsignalized intersection safety As you are venturing out in our neighborhoods, you will encounter many different types of intersection control. Intersections with a low volume of traffic usually do not require a traffic signal and are controlled by the “YIELD” and “STOP” road signs. They are usually employed for prioritizing directions of travel and to help drivers make quick decisions about who has the right-of-way. Uncontrolled intersections An uncontrolled intersection is a road intersection with no signs. This type of intersection is very common for low volume residential roads. Generally, who has the right-of-way is determined by the order of arrival to the intersection and relative positions of vehicles on the road. While not required to come to a complete stop at an uncontrolled intersection, you need to slow down and look for cross traffic. Approaching from the right does not automatically grant you the right of way and does not excuse you from slowing down before entering the intersection. When you encounter an uncontrolled intersection, exercise cautions and use the following simple rules to determine who has the right-of-way: • The vehicle that arrived to the intersection first has the right-of-way.
Pedestrian safety – The roles of the driver and the pedestrian
• If two vehicles arrive at the intersection at roughly the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left must give way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.
Summertime is when many people are out and about. As Minnesotans, we love getting out and enjoying the outdoors. Many people will want to take a walk, and as those people walk, they will eventually need to cross a street. Now is a good time to remind people of their roles as both drivers and pedestrians.
• Yield to approaching cross traffic
Pedestrian tips: 1. A lthough Minnesota State law states that pedestrians have the right-of-way at any marked or unmarked crosswalk, it’s common for drivers to not know to yield for pedestrians unless there is a clearly marked crosswalk. Use caution when approaching an intersection. 2. Even if a driver sees you, never assume they will stop for you. 3. Wave your hand at the approaching driver as you step off he curb to make your intention to cross the road clear. 4. If crossing a multi-lane road and a vehicle stops in the closest lane for you, stop at the end of that vehicle and look to be sure that any approaching vehicles in the other lanes stop for you as well.
• When making a left turn, yield to all oncoming traffic even if you were the first one to enter the intersection. • Look for pedestrians. Yield to pedestrians crossing at any leg of the intersection. Yield signs A “YIELD” sign is the next level of sign control. They are installed at intersections to assign right-of-way. Drivers must always yield to traffic coming from the cross street. If there is no traffic, drivers do not need to come to a complete stop. For safety at intersections with a “YIELD” sign drivers should: • Slow down • Yield to pedestrians at any leg of the intersection
A four-way yield intersection has yield signs installed at every entry to the intersection and is usually marked by the “ALL WAY” sign. The vehicle that arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way and must go first. When two vehicles arrive at a four-way yield intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right. If traveling in opposite directions, both vehicles can proceed. Stop signs A “STOP” sign is the highest level of sign control. Drivers must always come to a complete stop. By law, a stop is when all tires on a vehicle are not moving. At intersections with a stop sign a driver should always: • Stop and look both ways before proceeding. If you cannot see well enough to drive safely, roll forward slowly to expand your view. • Wait for your right-of-way and reassure safety for oncoming traffic, bicyclists, and pedestrians. • Yield to pedestrians crossing at any leg of the intersection.
Driver tips: 1. Yield at any intersection if someone is waiting to cross. 2. Stay alert and look for potential pedestrians that may want to cross the road especially in areas with schools and parks. 3. When turning, look in all directions for pedestrians (or bicyclists). 4. W hen yielding to a pedestrian, stop far enough back so the pedestrian has good sight distance past you and that drivers in other lanes can also see the pedestrian in time to stop. 5. D o not block crosswalks while stopped or parked, and be aware that a stopped vehicle in front of you may be stopped for a pedestrian, so use caution when passing vehicles. For more information on pedestrian and bicycle safety, visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation website called “Share the Road” at dot.state.mn.us/sharetheroad.
A “STOP” sign requires drivers to yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians approaching an intersection. The driver must come to a stop before the crosswalk stop line. If there is no line, the driver must stop before entering the crosswalk. If neither a stop line nor crosswalk is present, then vehicles must stop prior to entering the intersection controlled by the stop sign. You have to make sure the intersection is clear and you will not impede approaching traffic by entering the stop-controlled intersection. A four-way stop intersection has stop signs installed at every entry to the intersection and is usually marked by the “ALL WAY” sign. Drivers have to stop before the intersection no matter what direction you are coming from. The vehicle that arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way and must go first. When two vehicles arrive at a four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right. If traveling in opposite directions, both vehicles can proceed.
St. Louis Park poised to increase legal age to purchase tobacco Ordinance will increase legal age to buy tobacco, tobacco products in St. Louis Park from 18 to 21 years old At a June 26, 2017, special meeting, the St. Louis Park City Council approved by a vote of 6-1 the first reading of an ordinance raising the legal age to purchase tobacco and tobacco products in St. Louis Park from 18 to 21 years old and increase administrative fines for violation of the ordinance. A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for July 17, 2017. Should the ordinance pass it would go into effect October 1, 2017, making St. Louis Park the second city in the state of Minnesota to enact such an ordinance. “I initiated this discussion because it so well documented that people are more likely to develop a smoking habit if they start as teenagers,” said Councilmember Susan Sanger. “Smoking contributes significantly to many health issues, both for the smoker and those around them. Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 is a very sensible and easy-to-enforce way to address this serious public health issue.” The purpose of the ordinance is to limit availability of tobacco products and to help reduce the number of youth who begin using tobacco. The St. Louis Park City Council discussed raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco products, as well as the sale of flavored tobacco products, at a study session May 15, 2017. That study session was followed in late May by two informational meetings for the 23 tobacco license holders in St. Louis Park; there were seven attendees at that meeting. In voting against the ordinance, Councilmember Steve Hallfin said, “I abhor tobacco products, but this ordinance is misguided. An 18 year old is considered an adult and can be a property owner, get married and go to war – I can’t see refusing to sell tobacco to them.” The proposed ordinance includes an increase in administrative fines for violations by tobacco license holders in the city, from $250 to $500 for a first violation and from $500 to $1,000 for a second violation. The council also voted 7-0 on an amendment to the ordinance increasing the license suspension from 3 days to 30 days for a third violation within three years. Compliance checks of tobacco license holders are conducted annually by the St. Louis Park Police Department, and licenses are renewed annually.
City Council also contemplates regulating sale of flavored tobacco products At a study session immediately following the June 26 special meeting, the council continued its discussion from the May 15 study session about regulating the sale of flavored tobacco products. The council directed city staff to draft an ordinance amending the Tobacco Licensing section of city code to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in St. Louis Park.
City council discusses ranked choice voting At a June study session, the city council heard a presentation about ranked choice voting (RCV) for municipal elections, and directed staff to gather more information to be presented for discussion at a future study session. RCV is a method of voting that allows voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference. It can only be used for municipal elections, and cannot be used for school district, state, federal or county elections. Currently, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have introduced RCV for their municipal elections. The City of St. Louis Park could implement RCV via amendment to the city charter. For more information contact Melissa Kennedy, city clerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952.924.2840.
City council chambers undergo remodeling From July through later this fall, the St. Louis Park City Council, EDA, Planning Commission and Telecommunications Advisory Commission will hold their regular meetings in the Community Room, located on the first floor of St. Louis Park City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park. This relocation is necessary due to remodeling of the city council chambers. These meetings will continue to be broadcast live on ParkTV channel 17, and recorded for later playback on ParkTV and YouTube. Should a meeting be expected to draw a large crowd, meetings may be moved to The Rec Center banquet room, 3700 Monterey Drive, St. Louis Park, where they may also be broadcast live and recorded. Meeting locations will be provided in advance at stlouispark.org. The last significant remodeling was in the early 1980s, so the council chambers is undergoing a transformation to help provide a more inviting, flexible, safe and technologically updated space for public meetings, workshops, trainings and events.
Siar Nadem is Officer of the Year Congratulations to St. Louis Park Police Officer Siar Nadem, who has been named 2016 Robert Linnell Officer of the Year. Presented annually since 1989, the award recognizes St. Louis Park police officers who demonstrate consistent principles of integrity, fairness and commitment to service in the St. Louis Park community. Officers are nominated by their peers, with officers voting on the nominations to select the award winner. Officer Nadem has been with the St. Louis Park Police Department for 15 years, starting as a community service officer. He has worked in investigations and as a school liaison officer, and currently works patrol.
Construction updates Stay informed by email, website and direct mailings. Sign up to receive updates on current and future construction projects happening in St. Louis Park at slpmn.us/construction.
Questions? Call 952.924.2656.
US Internet makes inroads in St. Louis Park US Internet (USI), based in Minnetonka, has started extending fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) service into to St. Louis Park. USI provides internet and telephone service via Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP). While Cable TV is not among the current offerings of US Internet, USI’s high-speed broadband Internet service is offered exclusively over a dedicated fiber optic connection. The result is faster upload and download speeds compared to other major providers that typically use some combination of copper wire, coaxial cable and fiber. Google’s customer service rating for USI was 4.7 out of 5.0 in December of 2016. They also require no contracts or setup fees. “In addition to the fact that US Internet offers another choice for our residents, they also provide a price-competitive service, which we can see based on what they’ve done in Minneapolis,” said Clint Pires, chief information officer, City of St. Louis Park. USI recently surpassed 50,000 homes eligible for its FTTP service in Minneapolis, and continues to expand its offerings in that city. “The entrance of USI to the St. Louis Park market advances the city council’s strategic goal of making St. Louis Park a technology-connected community,” continued Pires. “We’re happy to work with any provider to facilitate the deployment of broadband services and choices in our city – USI just happened to be particularly interested at this time.” USI began offering service to more than 500 residential units at Era on Excelsior (formerly Meadowbrook Manor) earlier this summer. USI is also providing services to a number of St. Louis Park businesses. They plan to continue to expand their network with the goal to offer service to all homes and businesses in St. Louis Park over the next few years.
Prepare to vote! Voting is your opportunity to be heard, hold elected officials accountable and have a say in important issues that affect our community. In St. Louis Park elections for city offices occur in odd-numbered years. Here is what you need to know for the 2017 election cycle:
Can’t go to the polls on Election Day? Vote absentee.
In 2017 the following offices will be on the ballot:
• City hall is open for absentee voting Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• Councilmember Ward 1 • Councilmember Ward 2 • Councilmember Ward 3 • Councilmember Ward 4 St. Louis Park voters in ISD 283 will also elect individuals to serve on the school board and have the opportunity to vote on a referendum. Voters are encouraged to plan ahead to make their trip to the polls as efficient as possible. Finding your polling place, registering to vote and learning what races will be on your ballot are all important steps to take when preparing to vote. The City of St. Louis Park is here to help you get ready to vote. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked during election season: • Am I eligible to vote? • Am I registered to vote? • How do I register to vote before Election Day? • How do I register to vote on Election Day? • Where do I vote? • What is on my ballot? To find the answers to all these questions and more visit slpmn.us/elections or call the elections hotline at 952.924.2503. Note: The Secretary of State’s Office has many voting materials and forms available in ten languages – Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Lao, Oromo, Khmer and Amharic. Visit slpmn.us/elections or call the elections hotline at 952.924.2503 for more information on how to access these materials. Primary Election set for Ward 1 Councilmember The St. Louis Park City Charter states that a Primary Election will be held when three or more candidates file for one office. The city will hold a Primary Election on Aug. 8, 2017 for the office of Councilmember in Ward 1. This is the only office that will appear on the ballot in August and only those precincts located within Ward 1 will be open for voting on August 8.
If you can’t get to the polls on Election Day you can still vote. Absentee voting means voting by mail or in person before Election Day instead of at a polling place. Absentee ballots are available 46 days before an election. Any eligible voter may choose to vote by absentee ballot for any reason. Here is what you need to know: • Absentee ballots for the Primary Election will be available until Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. • You can request an absentee ballot by completing an application available at slpmn.us/elections or by calling 952.924.2503. Note: Because there are no State or Federal races on the ballot in 2017, you CANNOT request an absentee ballot through the Secretary of State’s online portal. Direct balloting available Aug. 1 for the Primary Election • A ll eligible voters in Ward 1 can vote in-person at city hall beginning Aug. 1-7 and place their ballots directly into a ballot counter. • Votes will be counted immediately, but results will not be reported until the polls close on Election Day, Aug. 8. • The City Clerk’s office will be open extended hours for direct balloting on the following dates: • Aug. 5, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. • Aug. 7, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Are campaign signs regulated? When elections season begins residents and visitors will begin to see campaign signs popping up throughout the community. Political signs are regulated by MN Statute 211B.045 and City Code Section 36-362(h)(5). Keep in mind: • Political signs of any size are permitted in any number from 46 days before an election. • Political signs must be removed within 10 days after the General Election has been held. • Political signs should not be placed on the public right-of-way or on any publicly owned property, including boulevard trees and utility poles. • Political signs must not obstruct the vision at an intersection or otherwise create a hazard to public safety.
Campaign Signs Help If you have questions regarding campaign signs in St. Louis Park, please contact the Inspections Department at
952.924.2588. Campaign signs are NOT allowed on: Publicly owned land (schools, public buildings, parks, etc.)
Street signs, signals, fire hydrants