News about communities, transit, parks, water issues, regional planning

Posted In: Communities,Planning
Date: 11/19/2014 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Metropolitan Council
390 North Robert Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Partnership for Regional Opportunity Meeting is November 19

The Partnership for Regional Opportunity is a region-wide cross-sector collaboration that is a year-long continuation of the Corridors of Opportunity initiative.  The Partnership will meet 6 times in 2014.  The sixth meeting is Wednesday, November 19.  Meeting details can be found at the Partnership for Regional Opportunity website.

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Posted In: Housing,Planning
Date: 9/15/2014 5:00 PM - 11:17 AM
Location: Metropolitan Council Chambers
390 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Comment on DRAFT 2040 Housing Policy Plan by September 26

A public hearing on the Council's draft 2040 Housing Policy Plan, the Council's first housing policy plan in many years, was held September 15. You can download a copy to review, and comment on the plan through 5 p.m. Sept. 26.

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Media Coverage: What others are saying about the Met Council

'Rail-Volution:' Transit drives development, stronger communities

Star Tribune -September 6, 2014
The Rail-Volution is coming.  Twin Cities transit promoters, seeking to burnish the area’s reputation as a growing center for bike, express bus, light-rail and car transit, will host the 20th annual Rail-Volution national conference from Sept. 21 to 24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Downtown in Minneapolis. The event includes 24 “mobile” workshops along various bike-bus-car routes between Minneapolis and St. Paul that will explore how well-planned transit can help drive everything from the urban-farm-to-restaurant trade to billions of dollars in new development along light-rail lines and suburban park-and-ride transit hubs.
This is Mecca for those who believe transit can connect and enrich urban communities. Up to 1,400 visitors are expected for what will be the first national conference of its kind in the Twin Cities.

Encouraging steps for light-rail lines:  Southwest, Bottineau receive key endorsements to move forward.

Star Tribune (Opinion) - September 7, 2014

Two crucial approvals for Southwest and Bottineau light rail in late August suggest that however fitfully, the metropolitan area is making strides to move beyond singular light-rail lines and toward a more-integrated transit system.
To be sure, there are many technical, financial, governmental and even legal hurdles ahead. But after a yearslong process, progress on Southwest (also called the Green Line Extension) and Bottineau (also known as the Blue Line Extension) is significant and encouraging.

Riding the Green Line: Why shared public space matters

Bruce Johnson, Community Voices, Twin City Planet, August 25, 2014

I board the Green Line, traveling east from downtown Minneapolis. It’s my first time taking the new line mid-day on a weekday, and I’m riding it just a few stops. It seems quiet. The only person seated in my section—he’s across the aisle, a couple rows ahead of me—is a young man, neatly dressed, with a backpack. He looks like he might be a college student.  Next stop, the doors open, another guy enters, somewhat older than the first, very different style of dress, hair, head covering.

APTA Transit News - Public Transportation Organizations Recognized for Their Sustainability Achievements -Washington, DC - August 04, 2014
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized seven organizations today for their outstanding sustainability achievements which have met specific criteria through the APTA Sustainability Commitment program. Public transit agencies and businesses that voluntarily participate in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program commit to implementing processes and actions that create continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability.  
The organizations receiving Gold Level recognition were Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (Urbana, IL), Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (Boston, MA), Metro Transit (Minneapolis, MN), and the Société de Transport de Montréal (Montreal, Canada).  Lane Transit District (Springfield, OR) received a Silver Level Recognition. The two Bronze Level recipients were GO Transit (Toronto, ON) and Stacy and Witbeck, the first construction firm to receive this honor, for the sustainability efforts at its Portland, OR office and four project field offices.

Options whittled to three for sustaining water supply

White Bear Press - July 30, 2014

Someone in the northeast metro is going to be drinking river water. We just don’t know who at this point; or when, or how or for how much. But it will be expensive.

In fact, the Metropolitan Council figures expanding St. Paul’s Regional Water Service, which takes water from the Mississippi, would cost either $5.2 million or $155 million depending on whether the service extends to just North St. Paul or to select northeast communities.

Those select communities on the list to convert? White Bear Lake, White Bear Township, Mahtomedi, Vadnais Heights, Shoreview and North St. Paul.

The Most Persuasive Evidence Yet that Bike-Share Serves as Public Transit

The Atlantic City Lab - July 28m, 2014

Over the past few days, several New York media outlets have reported that Citi Bike, the city's popular but financially struggling bike-share system, will soon get a much-needed influx of cash. The new money would likely go toward improving docking stations and expanding the network to other parts of the city. A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Wall Street Journal that bike-share "has become part of our public transportation system, and there is a lot riding on its success."

Those words come at the same time as a new research study—first referenced here by former D.C. and Chicago transportation chief Gabe Klein—offers the most persuasive evidence yet that bike-share serves as a genuine form of public transportation.

A new threat to Twin Cities water quality

Star Tribune - updated July 3

Cities, Met Council need to address impact of excessive stormwater.

Why does a torrential rainfall compel people to flush the toilet a dozen times, take another shower and wash an extra load of laundry? Obviously, it doesn’t.

How, then, did all that extra water get into the metro area’s sanitary sewer system during June’s relentless rainstorms, so much of it that the system was overwhelmed and forced to discharge raw sewage into local waters, most notably into Lake Minnetonka, temporarily closing several beaches?

The Drive: Green Line changes face of transit system
Star Tribune - June 16, 2014
The parties and celebrations marking the opening of the much-ballyhooed Green Line are over, and now it’s time to watch the impact the new light-rail line will have on commuters.

Monday is the first weekday that people going to jobs, schools and other destinations will navigate the newly revamped Twin Cities transit system. Along with the train, more than 15 bus lines have been revised in the biggest makeover of routes since the Blue Line opened in 2004.
The changes will be far reaching, affecting as many as 80,000 ­riders, a fact not lost on Metro Transit, said transit agency spokesman John Siqveland.

Biking, walking to work are on the rise, locally and nationally

Star Tribune - May 16, 2014

The number of bike commuters in Minneapolis has doubled since 2000.

Just in time for Twin Cities Bike Week comes a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau that says the number of people who pedal to work rose by 60 percent over the past decade.
Minneapolis, with an estimated 8,300 bike commuters, saw a significant jump in the number of people who said they usually ride to their jobs, from 1.9 percent of all commuters in 2000 to 4.1 percent as of 2012, according to the

Met Council’s regional plan changes for the better

Star Tribune - Dec. 21, 2013

A sneak preview of the Metropolitan Council’s next regional plan, “Thrive MSP 2040,” appears — even as a rough draft — to break important new ground in describing and addressing the Twin Cities’ most vexing problems in the decades ahead.

The council updates the regional plan every decade or so to keep pace with demographic trends and changing conditions. And this council, appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011, seems especially eager to shed traditional discussions about transportation and land development and take a wider view. Here are the highlights.

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