North Star Grand Prix – Zoning & Land Use Meeting 2/21/17

SHA Zoning and Land Use Public Hearing

Re: North Star Grand Prix

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 – 7 p.m.

Linwood Rec Center—860 St. Clair Ave.

 The Summit Hill Association (SHA) provides notice of this hearing so that you have the opportunity to attend or comment on the following matters:

This hearing has been called in response to the following request:

The organizers of the North Star Grand Prix, a 5-day professional bicycle race, have been looking for a new venue, and are considering Grand Avenue for their opening night on Wednesday, June 14.   The race would use a one-mile loop on and around Grand Avenue including blocks between Victoria and St. Albans on Grand and Lincoln Avenues.  Besides the pro races, the event brings a festival atmosphere, with expos, food, and a free kid’s race.  Visitors and residents at the Grand Prix events line the streets, throw block parties, and gather in their yards to watch Olympic-caliber racers flash by just a few feet away.   Does this sound like a good fit for Grand Ave?   Let us know your thoughts!  For more information click here or visit


The SHA Zoning and Land Use Committee will review and make neighborhood recommendations to the City regarding these application. You are invited to attend the hearing or submit written comments by February 21, 2017 at 5 p.m. Comments must be received prior to the meeting and sent to SHA at the above address or by email to or call 651-222-1222.



TO:  Summit Hill Association Zoning and Land Use Committee


FROM:  Paul Merwin, President, Minnesota Bicycle Festivals, Inc.


RE:  North Star Grand Prix on Grand Ave.


How about a Grand Prix on Grand Avenue?




Minnesota Bicycle Festivals, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation formed entirely of volunteers.  Our mission is to put on high-quality events that promote healthy lifestyles and active communities, using top-level bicycle races as our main events.  Proceeds from our events benefit Special Olympics of Minnesota.


Our premier event is the North Star Grand Prix (formerly known as the Nature Valley Grand Prix), a 5-day professional bike race that has raced through the Twin Cities area since 2001.  Our event is June 14-18 this year, kicking off in St. Paul on Wednesday, June 14.  We are one of the top events on the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour and we feature top national and international level athletes, including Olympians from several nations.    They’ll be here in St. Paul racing a criterium:  a short fast race around a course about a mile long.


In addition to the pro racing, we bring an expo area, kids’ races, and a great opportunity for neighborhood gatherings.

Our other criteriums, Friday night in Uptown Minneapolis and Sunday afternoon in Stillwater, have become highlights of the year for residents, businesses, and visitors.  Thousands of fans visit, patronize local businesses, and mingle with the neighbors, who throw cookouts and lawn parties.



As a local volunteer group, we do not simply bring a take-it-or-leave it event and plop it down in the middle of your neighborhood.  We need the approval and support of the neighbors and the business community.  While we have concept plans for the event layout and schedule, we would like to work with a local organizing committee and volunteers to be sure the event is a success with the community.  We also would like to work with local businesses to provide food service, entertainment, promotion, and a presence on the venue.


A proposed course map is attached here.  This concept plan has been approved by the Saint Paul Police Department, but we would like the feedback of the neighbors and businesses.


While we cannot set a final schedule until we have settled on a course setup, we expect the schedule to be roughly the same as it has been at other venues and in previous years.


During the races, there is no access to the closed streets.  There may be limited exceptions where course marshals can assist vehicles in accessing the alleys.

Tentative Schedule:


Noon:   No parking goes into effect all around the course.

Noon-5.    Phased closure of streets.  This can vary a lot depending on the layout and the needs of the area.  We don’t have to close all streets all day, but can do it in phases as we work around the course.   We would work out these details in concert with SHA, GABA, St. Paul Police, Metro Transit, etc.

4pm.  Expo opens.  Location TBD.

6pm.  The whole course is shut down.  Through traffic on some streets would probably be diverted a block away.  A lot of this is at the direction of SPPD.

6:15  Pro Women Start

7:15  Kids’ race

7:45  Pro Men Start

9pm   Racing done.  Some streets open relatively quickly (Probably Victoria and Lincoln).   We can do this in phases in cooperation with SPPD.

11pm.  Most cleanup completed, most streets fully open.



If you have any thoughts, please contact one of our volunteer organizers:


Paul Merwin,

Carlos Villapando,