Community Feedback Influences Recommendations for Highway 12/Wildwood Road
On February 16, 2021, representatives from Washington County reviewed their recommendations to improve County Highway 12 (Wildwood Road) with the Mahtomedi City Council. In addition to replacing the pavement, the project also aims to replace a culvert and improve pedestrian facilities.
Recommendations spanning from Century Avenue in the west to Stillwater Road in the east include a new stoplight at Wedgewood Drive, new pedestrian islands at multiple crossings, and wider shoulders across Lost Lake to accommodate on-road walkers and bikers. The County did not recommend off-road pedestrian/bicycling facilities across Lost Lake. The Mahtomedi City Council will consider the recommendations. If approved, the City will proceed with a resolution of support to move forward with potential 2022-2023 construction.
In reviewing the recommendations during the Washington County/City Council Joint Workshop, County Public Works Engineer Kevin Peterson highlighted community engagement. Feedback was collected during a March 5, 2020, Open House and an online engagement period from December 15-31, 2020. The online engagement resulted in nearly 1,200 views of the project website and the submission of 20 comment forms, 3 emailed comments, and 169 comments on a map.
MAGI helped publicize the feedback opportunities as well as a companion petition encouraging the County and City to recognize this stretch as a bicycle and pedestrian “Greenway.” Calling for safe transportation options for all, the petition highlighted the need for improvements to the Wedgewood Drive intersection, safer walking and biking, and speed reduction/traffic calming. The petition generated community engagement, with 195 signatures of support and 75 comments.
The County recommendations include many of the requested changes. The County’s proposal includes the construction of a new trail on the south side of the road, between Century Avenue and Old Wildwood Road; improved pedestrian crossings, including a new stoplight at Wedgewood Drive; and new left-turn lanes. A County project map highlights the location of these proposed changes and the presentation deck from the Workshop provides additional detail. County Engineer Kevin Peterson noted, “The proposed improvements to County Highway 12 between Century Avenue and Stillwater Road are a testament to the community feedback that we have received.”
Improvements to Highway 12 across Lost Lake generated significant discussion at the Workshop. Instead of providing off-road facilities for walkers and bicyclists through this stretch, the County recommends paving the roadway to the guardrails to provide additional space. Widening the roadway for off-road facilities was determined to be too costly, in terms of the project budget, project schedule, and potential negative impacts to the environment and watershed. Old Wildwood Road/Lincolntown Avenue was proposed as an alternative for pedestrians and bicyclists. However, several council members noted the need for improvements for safer walking and biking on Old Wildwood Road.
Of additional benefit to the environment, the County recommendations also call for two stormwater treatment ponds to hold run-off and a larger culvert for the east side of Lost Lake, near Wildwood Park.
The City will review the County’s recommendations and cost estimates and consider a formal resolution to signal support for the project. A resolution allows the County to proceed with project planning.
Stay informed/voice your opinion
The community will have additional opportunities to provide input as the project progresses. Stay informed and involved by:
- Subscribing to Washington County project updates;
- Signing the Highway 12 Greenway petition; and
- Signing up for the MAGI monthly e-newsletter via firstname.lastname@example.org.