The asphalt path in the Summit Avenue median west of Finn Street is history.
Crews removed the path last week and have hydro-seeded the area to restore the median to its original purpose. Pedestrians are asked to avoid the area to allow the grass to fill in and to not jaywalk across the median in the future.
The University of St. Thomas installed the asphalt path six years ago as part of a city-approved plan to more effectively move pedestrians between the main and south campuses. An increasing number of pedestrians jaywalked across the median after the Frey Science and Engineering Center opened in 1997 and created two wide, unsightly and often muddy “cow paths.”
The university worked with the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee, the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission and the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission on plans to install the median, which is on city parkland in a historic district.
St. Thomas agreed to remove the median after the Anderson Student Center opened because most pedestrians walking between the main and south campuses use the diagonal sidewalk from the center to the Summit-Cretin corner.
Two years ago, the city approved a series of changes at the Summit-Cretin intersection to improve the flow of pedestrian traffic, which had increased because of the new Anderson Parking Facility on the south campus.
St. Thomas constructed larger concrete standing areas at the four corners of the intersection, widened the north-south sidewalks that run parallel to Cretin and installed new traffic signals with countdown timers and audio reminders.