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.

Read more

Media Coverage: What others are saying about the Met Council

Transit oriented development: linking community benefits and regional heath

MinnPost - September 26, 2014

TOD can give people with fewer resources real choices. How do we best use the intersection between transportation and land use to help people and places prosper?
Transit oriented development is one answer to that question that's gaining favor among both cities and suburbs. In fact, the Twin Cities has become a national leader in demonstrating to other metro areas how to do this kind of development while keeping the good of the community in mind.
Transit oriented development (TOD) means making the decision to build housing and businesses in close proximity to affordable transportation — like bus and train stops. It makes life simpler and more convenient for those who commute to work every day and who want to access life's basic necessities without driving. It provides businesses and cultural organizations near transit stops with more customers and patrons, and it takes thousands of cars off an already overcrowded freeway system.


Transportation funding change aims for equality in Twin Cities

Next City - 24, 2014

From exclusionary zoning policies to trains that stop before reaching areas of racially concentrated poverty, institutionalized racism is literally built into our urban and suburban landscapes. In the Twin Cities, a new method for distributing federal transportation dollars considers the cities’ spatial and economic inequities. Approved last week by a transportation subcommittee of the Metropolitan Council (the agency that oversees planning in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region), the formula for allotting $150 million assigns points to potential projects — roads, buses, bike paths and even pedestrian infrastructure — based on how they stand to improve racial equity.

“[O]ur region has some of the largest disparities by race and ethnicity of any large metropolitan area in the nation,” a document called Thrive MSP 2040 states.

Grant will fuel new, improved bus shelters in Minneapolis, St. Paul

Star Tribune - September 26, 2014

The Twin Cities will get hundreds of new or improved bus shelters next year, thanks in part to a major federal grant awarded to Metro Transit this week.
The $3.26 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration is helping fuel a massive increase in shelter spending next year. Metro Transit expects to install 150 new shelters, replace between 75 and 100 shelters and enhance 75 existing shelters with amenities such as light, heat and more transit information.


RailVolution showcases Minnesota transit successes

Crossroads - September 26, 2014

Before a national audience of 1,400 urban planners and transit enthusiasts, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and others told the story of how the Twin Cities metropolitan area was transformed into a community that embraces “livability” and mass transit, including light rail.
“The growth was horizontal and there were lots of people who were saying it wouldn’t work in Minnesota,” said McLaughlin, during the opening plenary of the RailVolution conference in Minneapolis.
But the metro region bucked years of infighting and helped pass a transportation bill in 2008 that allows counties to tax for the expansion of transit in the metro area. Anoka, Ramsey, Hennepin, Dakota and Washington Counties decided to pool their resources from the quarter-cent transit sales tax, which is why the Southwest Light Rail Line is able to move forward.


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 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.


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.

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.

Upcoming Events