Public Involvement

The public has had significant influence on the project — and can continue to influence it

Community outreach coordinator

Starting in 2007, the Community Outreach Coordinators were the first point of contact for members of the public, community organizations and corridor businesses. They were available to answer questions, receive input on the project, and help resolve issues. With the start of revenue operations on June 14, 2014, all calls and questions are being directed to Metro Transit’s Customer Service.

Please contact our Customer Service representatives at 612-373-3333 or fill out the online comment form.
 

Project designers made numerous changes to the line as a result of public suggestions:

  • Designed an entirely new road surface, sidewalks, curbs and gutters from façade to façade for a uniform look for University Avenue. Retained 10-foot sidewalks in most places. New curbs and gutters addressed concerns about water quality and standing water on the street
  • Added non-signalized pedestrian crossings to address concerns about pedestrians’ ability to cross the street safely and conveniently. The additional pedestrian crossings resulted in the loss of additional on-street parking, and many people said the tradeoff was worth it. Some advocated for even more pedestrian crossings, which would have resulted in greater loss of on-street parking
  • Added stations at Hamline, Victoria and Western.
  • Provided a street presence with windows facing the Farmers’ Market for the operations and maintenance facility in the Diamond Products building (formerly Gillette Co. factory)
  • Modified the use of bells and horns east of Union Depot Station in Lowertown due to noise concerns
  • Relocated track crossovers, where trains make noise moving from one track to another, off of Carleton and Avon on University Avenue so they are away from residential areas and off of Cedar Street away from Minnesota Public Radio studios.
  • Relocated several traction power substations and signal bungalows to more obscure sites or locations that won’t hinder future development
  • Located Snelling Avenue Station at Snelling instead of at Pascal to accommodate the community’s preference and for better bus connections.
  • Simplified station design to address concerns about safety, security and consistency throughout the corridor for ease of access, wayfinding and reduction of barriers for people with disabilities.
  • Designed only smooth sidewalk surfaces to address concerns that stamped or patterned concrete makes for a bumpy ride for wheelchair users and hinders people with vision impairments in finding the tactile warning bumps on the curb cuts when they tap the pavement with their canes.
  • Located the West Bank Station between the Cedar Avenue and 19th Avenue bridges versus a block east of the 19th Avenue bridge to better serve both the university and surrounding communities and to be closer to vertical access points at Cedar and 19th avenues to meet requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Held 14 visioning sessions with artists chosen to design station art so the public could tell them about the history and culture of the station areas. Held additional meetings where the artists presented their preliminary design concepts and received feedback. Organized separate station art committees to enlist community members’ help in publicizing the meetings at the grassroots level.

People have influenced the design and construction of the METRO Green Line in many different ways: 

  • More than 25,000 people presented ideas at 1,150 public meetings held by project staff since September 2006 in English, Hmong and Somali. The project’s community outreach coordinators also spoke Spanish, Hmong and Vietnamese, some French, some Somali and American Sign Language. They compiled public concerns and suggestions and shared them with the engineers, which is how the changes suggested by the public were incorporated into the project. Outreach staffers served as liaisons between the public and contractors during construction to provide project updates and resolve conflicts so the contractors and construction supervisors could focus on their work.
  • Standing advisory committees met monthly to discuss set agendas for committee members who have closely followed the project for a long time and wanted detailed information.
  • Open forums and open houses featured "open mic" times to enable area residents to share their concerns publicly and one-on-one with project engineers, and examined preliminary design plans online, at public libraries on the corridor, and by appointment at the Central Corridor Project Office with assistance from staff.
  • Community meetings were held in locations as diverse as a Hmong dental clinic waiting room, senior housing, Hmong grocery store's gathering room/dance floor, Vietnam Center, churches, college lecture halls and the Metrodome concourse before and during Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings games.
  • Booths staffed by the project at art fairs, music festivals, ethnic celebrations, the State Fair and other community events, such as Rondo Days, provided opportunities for community members to interact with project staff. 
  • One-on-one meetings between business owners and project staff at business locations enabled business owners to voice their concerns without taking time off to attend a public meeting.

METRO Green Line Project Director Mark Fuhrmann listens to parishioners from two neighboring downtown St. Paul churches explain their concerns about how LRT trains running past their historic churches will affect their worship services. Fuhrmann and Central Corridor LRT Project staff gave a group from Central Presbyterian Church and St. Louis King of France Catholic Church a ride on the Hiawatha LRT line one Sunday morning to Government Plaza Station. They disembarked there so they could experience a light rail train passing by historic buildings, such as City Hall, in downtown Minneapolis.

Then-Construction Manager Chris Weyer (left) leads the project's Business Advisory Council on a tour of the Hiawatha LRT extension project, including the new Minneapolis Multimodal Station, in downtown Minneapolis. Weyer told University Avenue business owners how construction supervisors will be required to accommodate business needs during construction of the METRO Green Line. Weyer also has worked on the METRO Blue Line and Northstar commuter rail projects.