About the Saint Paul Grand Round Project
As part of the 8-80 Initiative, this project will increase activity and vitality on our streets and public spaces by continuing the vision set forth for the Saint Paul Grand Round over 125 years ago by completing a bicycle and pedestrian loop that encircles the city.
The Saint Paul Grand Round is a visionary project to develop 30 miles of parkway connecting neighborhoods across the entire city with scenic parkways and off-street bicycle and pedestrian paths. The Saint Paul Grand Round will increase walking and biking connections to local businesses, help calm traffic in residential neighborhoods, and connect neighborhoods across Saint Paul. It will be a city-wide asset that will attract residents, employees, and visitors of all ages for years to come.
The southern half of the Saint Paul Grand Round is already in place; completion of the northern half will offer a quantum leap in connectivity, usefulness and accessibility for the city’s walking, biking and transportation and recreation networks. This project will increase activity and vitality on our streets and public spaces by making them more accessible for a wider range of users.
Planning for the northern half of the Grand Round system (from Burns Avenue in Dayton’s Bluff to Pelham Boulevard in Union Park, through Johnson Parkway, Wheelock Parkway and Pelham Boulevard) will begin this summer - and we need your participation and ideas!
Tour the Saint Paul Grand Round
A Long Time Coming
Historical Context for the Saint Paul Grand Round
The Saint Paul Grand Round was envisioned in the late 1800’s by prominent landscape architect H.W. S. Cleveland. Cleveland was hired by both St. Paul and Minneapolis to outline a plan for their respective park systems. His idea for St. Paul included protection of naturally beautiful spaces along Lake Como, Lake Phalen, and the Mississippi River. The Grand Round was seen as an unbroken chain of “parked” ways that connected these larger park spaces that encircled the city. Most of these parkways were installed by the 1930s. The first bicycle and pedestrian trail was installed along Mississippi River Boulevard in the 1920s. Subsequent trails were installed along the southern route of the Grand Round in the 1980s-early 2000s. Currently there is an off-road trail along the entire southern half of the route.
The Goal of this project is to work towards completion of the bicycle and pedestrian loop. Funds have been allocated through the 8-80 Initiative to complete design development of the northern segment and implement portions of the project along Wheelock Parkway, Johnson Parkway, and Pelham Blvd.
Related Planning Efforts in Saint Paul
St. Paul Park System, 1929 | CLICK TO ENLARGE
Project Area & Route Segments | CLICK TO ENLARGE
The 6 E's of Planning for "8-80" Walking & Biking
The Grand Round will provide great Active Living benefits to communities throughout Saint Paul. One way of thinking about and implementing Active Living initiatives is to consider the six arenas into which the proposed interventions may fit: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Equity—commonly known as the Six E's.
Engineering involves the planning, design, construction and maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in our communities that create safe, efficient and accessible walking and bicycling for everyone.
Education initiatives include the development and sharing of information related to easily and safely navigating trips on foot or by bike by providing pedestrian and bicycle safety training, initiating a campaign that promotes the benefits of walking and biking, or developing walking and biking route maps.
Encouragement initiatives invite more people to try walking or riding a bike to work, school, public transit, recreational destinations, or wherever they may be going. Encouragement programs may include contests, incentive programs, or community-wide events like Open Streets that encourage people to get around on foot or by bike, and use public space in a new way.
Enforcement initiatives often include the participation of local police and focus on traffic and safety laws and regulations in communities.
Evaluation involves measuring the success of investments in achieving desired outcomes. Evaluation includes assessing attitudes and behaviors related to walking or riding a bike, and takes place before and after programming efforts and infrastructure improvements to establish baseline conditions and measure progress.
Equity initiatives often include diverse opportunities for stakeholder engagement in systems of project planning, design, construction and maintenance, and distributing material in a targeted and strategic manner to better reach underrepresented and vulnerable population groups.
Benefits of planning for walking and bicycling in Saint Paul
We Bicycle St. Paul: Why Bike?
The single best thing we can do for our health
First Last Mile Accessibility on the Green Line