I just attended the Richfield city council meeting where they approved of the of recommended streetscape design concepts for reconstruction of portions of 75th Street and 76th Street. The final results as approved by the city council is sidewalks on both sides of 76th street with the south being an 8′ trail managed by Three Rivers Park District. The south is a 5′ wide sidewalk from Nicollet to 11th Street and 6′ from 35W to Nicollet. Good Right?

They also approved of a partial bike trail on 75th Street with bike paths from Xerxes to Penn Ave. maybe to Logan Ave. but they were very, maybe somewhat deliberately vague about that. If it makes them happy to save two blocks of on-street parking in a city of parking lots and driveways so be it.

Definitely from Logan Ave. east, across 35W and connecting up with 76th Street there will only be a side-path to with no bike paths. And believe me, it is a big improvement from the situation at the beginning

I had to smile when I saw a Richfield Sun-Current reporter finally at one of the 76th Street presentations and talking to Howard Green Company, the consultants on the project, about the trail. I had to wonder if they were at the city council meeting hoping for a hot but not-so-fresh round-a-bout issue and settled for the 76th Street redesign, …and people wonder why newspapers are disappearing faster than highland gorillas.

So all this is good and I am doing the happy dance, however I could smell the brimstone – for as they say, “the devil is in the details” and there he was, in all his glory, at the meeting with the city council, the city workers, Howard Green Co. and the Three Rivers Park district all talking about him a bit.

“Asphalt or concrete side paths?” “How will the maintenance be done and by who?” “Who will shove the trail in the winter time?” “What to do about 11th Ave to Cedar Ave on 76th Street where the sewer will not go but it is presumed the trail and bike paths will?”

Also… as yet untalked about is what about Upton Avenue where the trail goes north to connect with 70th Street and into Edina. Also the very important but under discussed connection from 76th to 75th and making it bike and pedestrian safe. How do we plan to tie this with to future North South bike trails? Not a peep, but I hear Satan speaking “details, details, details….”