Correction: Roger Worm is a board member of the Southwest Business Association and a member of the East Harriet Neighborhood Association's Community Partnership Committee. An earlier version of this story named him as the president of the Southwest Business Association. The president of the Southwest Business Association is Matt Perry. We apologize for this error.
According to East Harriet Neighborhood Association meeting documents, Roger Worm asked the association about submitting a letter to Public Works Director Margaret Anderson Kelliher about making changes to the Bryant Avenue South Reconstruction Project. Worm is a member of the East Harriet Neighborhood Association's Community Partnerships Committee and a board member of the Southwest Business Association. According to Worm, he made the request on behalf of the Community Partnership Committee.
Six days later, a letter was sent on behalf of the neighborhood association asking for similar changes that Public Works have now announced. “Roger would write the letter of support,” the meeting notes read.
The Southwest Business Association approached the East Harriet Neighborhood Association about their concerns about the Bryant Avenue reconstruction early in the planning process but have not submitted any formal letters to the Public Works Department since the redesign was officially approved by City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey in 2021.
“Our interaction with Public Works has really stopped,” Perry said on April 5.
The February 7 letter from the East Harriet Neighborhood Association, recommended the following changes:
Place parking on the west side of the avenue
Eliminate chicanes mid-block
Reduce the bicycle facility width in areas where it is presently designed at 10 feet to 8 feet.
On March 31, Public Works sent out a letter to Bryant Avenue stakeholders detailing the following changes:
On-street parking will move to the right side [west side if you are going south] of the driving lane
The chicanes from Lake Street to 42nd will be removed from the design except for the 3700 block to
allow consistent parking on the right side
The update will move the bikeway next to the roadway with green space between the bikeway and sidewalk.
Driveways aprons will be made wider to improve turning access in and out of driveways
In comparing the two documents, making the driveways aprons wider was not a request made in the letter. The City is removing all planned chicanes up to Lake Street, which are bump outs in the street meant to calm traffic speeds. The bike lanes are being changed but it is unclear as of yet whether the width will change.
Changing a design plan so close to its construction date is not typical but also happened when the City Council was set to vote on the Hennepin Avenue redesign last year.
At the February East Harriet Neighborhood Association meeting board member Brandon Bell was noted as saying, “Contracts are hard to change at this point, there may be money for change orders.”
There is a stakeholder meeting being held by the project team on April 6 at 2 p.m.