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

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

Public Hearing on DRAFT 2040 Housing Policy Plan is September 15

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

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Posted In: Communities,Planning
Date: 9/9/2014 12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

McKnight Foundation
710 South Second Street, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Partnership for Regional Opportunity Meeting is September 3

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 fifth meeting is Wednesday, September 3.  Meeting details can be found at the Partnership for Regional Opportunity website.

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Media Coverage: What others are saying about the Met Council

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.

Green Line debut a reason to celebrate 
Star Tribune (Opinion) - June 13, 2014

Now leaders must find a way to approve Southwest light rail. 

Saturday’s opening of the Green Line isn’t just a significant moment for transit, but also for urban revitalization and for regionalism. After decades of discussion, and years of planning, construction and controversy, passengers will finally board trains on the nearly $1 billion, 11-mile light-rail line originally called the Central Corridor.
For forward thinkers who recognize transit’s role in moving people, rooting communities, and attracting and retaining a world-class workforce, it’s a time to celebrate. It’s also a time to assess some of the key issues surrounding the line...

After rocky start, Green Line overcomes community objections

Minnesota Public Radio News - June 11, 2014
When the first passengers board the Green Line light rail trains Saturday, they'll be part of a joyous, 11-mile-long celebration.

The opening-day festivities probably won't carry a trace of the acrimony that long bedeviled plans to send trains between the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In the end, opposition from residents, the University of Minnesota, and businesses proved no match for the largest public-works project in state history. Some of those adversaries have become allies.

Target Field Station is the latest transit milestone

Star Tribune - May 16, 2014 

To realize its potential, Southwest and Bottineau light rail are needed.

Despite not opening until June 14, there’s already significant commercial development along the Green Line (Central Corridor) light-rail route, the Metropolitan Council reported Wednesday. Not counted among those projects, but perhaps most notable, is Target Field Station, which has its grand opening on Saturday.

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

Quest for ‘racial equity’ in parks has some wary

Star-Tribune – April 8, 2014

Minneapolis StarTribuneFaced with numbers showing that its parks are underused by minorities and having spent millions to develop parks in largely white suburbs, the Metropolitan Council is moving to impose a “racial-equity” filter as it forms its latest long-term plan for transportation, land use and recreation.

The destination of millions in parks funding is emerging as an early point of conflict in those debates.

“This will make us uncomfortable, but we need to ‘go there’ or we will just keep getting the results we have been getting,” said Gary Cunningham of Minneapolis, chairman of a Met Council committee overseeing parks and planning.
Cunningham convened the first joint meeting this week with the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission to underscore the importance of the issue.

Has Minnesota reached a critical consensus on eliminating race disparities?

MinnPost - February 14, 2014

If we eliminate these disparities by 2040, and if people of color have the same high-school graduation, employment, and homeownership rates, the region would also have: 182,000 more high school graduates, 137,000 more people with jobs, 216,000 more homeowners, and $35 billion more income to spend regionally on local goods and services, creating a healthy and growing economy.

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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