Maplewood officials have agreed to move forward with Great Rivers Greenway to implement a greenway through the Greenwood neighborhood, connecting Francis R. Slay Park to the east with the Deer Creek Greenway to the west.
The route is to go along Oxford and Sussex avenues and Greenwood Boulevard.
City officials voted (5-1) on Tuesday to approve GRG spending $103,000 to study three intersection on the route: Canterbury and Greenwood avenues, Sutton Boulevard at the rail road crossing, and Oxford and Big Bend.
With Ward 1 council member Sandi Phillips seated — she was sworn in that night, the council agreed (other than Tim Dunn, the only no vote) that that GRG had addressed the city’s concerns and any further delays would likely kill the project.
This is after the city originally gave GRG a list of stipulations, which eventually caused caused the loss of a federal grant — missing the deadline, GRG said. It’s continuing with funds from GRG’s tax-supplied base.
The vote also approved GRG to move forward with the designs of the Greenwood, Sussex, and Oxford corridors.
Two Greenwood residents spoke in the public hearing about the project. One was concerned about losing parking, and safety at the Greenwood and railroad intersection. The other said he has two small children and would love to have a safe way for them to cross Big Bend to get to Rocket Park on their bikes.
Mayor Barry Greenberg said it’s understood that the route will maintain existing parking, will have the highest level of safety possible at the three intersections, and that they will respect the property rights and values along the corridor, meaning that they won’t restrict the ability of the residents of Oxford and Sutton to do what they can do now.
From this point on, representatives of city staff will work with GRG. City Council will have no more votes.