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Weekly Transportation News

08/26/2011

Transit:

  1. Pioneer Press: Northstar's Ramsey Stop Nears Reality, Renewing Development Hopes
  2. Finance & Commerce: Hennepin County Opts for Design-Build on Interchange Project (subscription required)
  3. Finance & Commerce: Central Corridor Construction Update, Week of Aug 13-19 (subscription required)
  4. TCDP: Mix it Up: Talking Transportation with Hilary Reeves at TLC (TLC mentioned)

Bike/Walk:

  1. Star Tribune: Riding in Tandom with God
  2. DC Streets Blog: From Minneapolis: Ten Street Design Solutions to Transform Your City (BWTC mentioned)
  3. TCDP: Great Bike Rides of the Twin Cities: The Grand Rounds

Roads/Bridges:

  1. Winona Daily News: State Traffic Fatalities on Track to be owest Since the 1940s
  2. Wall Street Journal: Roads Bill Gets Another Look

 

Weekly Transportation News

08/19/2011

Transit:

  1.  Finance & Commerce: Keeping Central Corridor Contractors in Line (subsicription required)
  2. Pioneer Press: Light-Rail Builder gets Low Marks on Performance, Loses Out on Full Bonus
  3. The Hill: Study: 700,000 have No Access to Cars or Public Transit

Bike/Walk:

  1. Architect's Newspaper: Chicago --City of Broadening Sidewalks
  2. Guardian: 19th Centruy Cyclists Paved the Way for Modern Motorists' Roads
  3. SF Streetsblog: Why the SFMTA Doesn't Install Short-Term Residential Bike Parking
  4. Grist: Bike-Share Saves Lives
  5. NRDC Swtichboard: New Data Show How Transit Corridors Reduce Traffic, Increase Walking

    Roads/Bridges:

    1. Reuters: Infrastructure Woes --A Roadblock to Growth
    2. Pioneer Press: Corrosion on Stillwater Lift Bridge Prompts Lower Weight Limits
    3. Hastings Star Gazette: Shutdown Means Hastings Brige will not be Completed by May 2013 as Planned

    Other:

    1. TCDP: The Riverfront: A New View of North Minneapolis
    2. KSTP TV: Mural Painted on Mpls Street to Help Slow Traffic
    3. Twin Cities Business: 3 MN Cos. Make National "Best Places to Work" List

    Weekly Transportation News

    08/15/2011

    Transit:

    1. Star Tribune: Plans for Target Field Transit Hub Firming Up
    2. Star Tribune: Suburban Bus Services Bracing for Likely Cuts
    3. Pioneer Press: In Central Corridor Construction Zone, a Few Wows After All the Woes
    4. Human Transit: Bus Rapid Transit: Two Kinds of Flexibility
    5. Finance & Commerce: Decision Approaches on Frieght-Rail Re-location for Southwest LRT (subscription required)
    6. Finance & Commerce: Appeal Muddies Freight-Rail Relocation Negotiations for Southwest LRT (subscription required)
    7. Finance & Commerce: Southwest Light Rail Planning Moves Forward (subscription required)
    8. Cap'n Transit: The Non-Excludable Benefits of Transit Use

    Bike/Walk:

    1. Washington Post Opinion: Protect, Don't Prosecute, Pedestrians
    2. TCDP: Northeast Bike Debate Heats Up
    3. Broken Sidewalk: The Problem with Artsy Bike Racks
    4. Guardian: For Zimbabwe's Women, a Bicycle Can be a Tool of Liberation
    5. Streetsblog: The Environmental Impact of Your Two-Wheeled Commute

    Roads/Bridges:

    1. Star Tribune: Incomplete Roseville Road Raises Hackles
    2. Pioneer Press: Mn/DOT Ready to Build New Stillwater Bridge if Congress Acts

    Other:

    1. Slate: Janette Sadik-Khan, New York's Transportation Commissioner, Cuts Through the Gridlock to Build a Greener City
    2. NRDC Switchboard: The Importance of Regional Planning that Matters
    3. Baltimore Sun: Transportation: The High Cost of Underinvestment

    Leveraging Cedar Avenue BRT for the Southeast Metro

    08/10/2011

    From Dave Van Hattum, Policy & Advocacy Program Manager

    The City of Apple Valley recently received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) award that brought a Sustainable Design Assessment Team to town to gather ideas for regenerating this bedroom community. The team consisted of experts in land use, architecture, transportation and sustainability.

    With the Cedar Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line scheduled to open by 2014, Apple Valley has undertaken a bold effort to leverage expanded transit service to create new neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, and include attractive destinations. The Met Council defines BRT as a hybrid solution that combines express buses on dedicated lanes with frequent, all-day service, high-quality transit stations, signal-light priority, and the real-time information and ease of boarding that people typically associate with light-rail transit (LRT), such as the Hiawatha Line.

    I had the opportunity to participate in an Apple Valley charette and left inspired by the level and quality of community participation. More than 60 people attended the event. While a single new BRT line won’t, by itself, transform an auto-oriented community, the vision and energy in the room suggested broad possibilities. Civic leaders, business representatives and residents all recognized that the status quo of big box stores, disconnected subdivisions, and a heavy reliance on driving is not a smart 21-century, city-building strategy. Many spoke for the need to implement circulator connections to the BRT line, to create more walkable and bikeable destinations, and to build new transit-oriented development. Doing so with an emphasis on green infrastructure was also widely supported.

    Based on the group conversations, the consultant team recommended the following key initiatives.

    • Identify four areas for growth and key transportation connections (i.e. Municipal Center Hub, Central Village, Cedar Village East, and Cedar Village West).
    • Create more walkable and bikeable destinations and connections to the BRT line.
    • Create a lifecycle of housing options.
    • Update the city code to promote transit and pedestrian friendly development.

    When the Cedar Avenue BRT is fully operational in 2014 (an extension to Lakeville is planned by 2019), it will be part of a rapidly maturing regional system of transitways (i.e. Hiawatha LRT, Central Corridor LRT, Northstar Commuter rail, and the I-35W South BRT).  As the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit line, the Cedar Avenue BRT will provide a powerful case study of the pros and cons of BRT. LRT is the mode of choice for high-density corridors.  BRT, on the other hand, may be our region’s best investment for serving large suburban communities in both the West and East metro. It should be noted that a successful BRT line does not preclude LRT at some point in the future. 

    Like many visioning exercises, the success of the Apple Valley BRT development plans will depend on the extent and type of future public investments and the dogged follow-thru necessary to implement good ideas. To be successful, Apple Valley, like scores of other suburban communities, needs to establish consensus and clarity on a vision and then set clear priorities for implementation. Most of the ideas advanced by the design team will require new investments, but doing nothing is likely to have even greater costs. There’s a new generation of home buyers out there looking for walkable neighborhoods, attractive places to gather, and convenient transit. Many in this generation will no doubt choose the region’s older neighborhoods for these inherent qualities, but suburbs that can establish and market similar features will better position themselves for continued success in future generations.

    Weekly Transportation News

    08/05/2011

    Transit:

    1. TCDP: New Normal: Transportation in MN
    2. Pioneer Press: 58% of St. Paul Residents Say They're Likely to Use Light Rail
    3. Transportation Nation: Study: Who Is Riding Curbside Buses, And Should Amtrack Worry?
    4. Streetsblog Capitol Hill: Debt Deal Could Mean More Painful Cuts for Transportation
    5. Human Transit: Transit and a Shrinking U.S. Government
    6. Finance & Commerce: Feds Open to Next Step for Southwest LRT (subscription required)

     

    Bike/Walk:

    1. Star Tribune: Safer Travels on Foot and Bike in West St. Paul
    2. NYTimes: The Dutch Way- Bicycles and Fresh Bread
    3. Pioneer Press: Joe Soucheray: For Comrades on Bikes
    4. Pioneer Press: Follow Four Be's of Safe Urban Bicycling

     

    Roads/Bridges:

    1. Star Tribune: MnDOT: 59 Bridges Fixed and 75 to Go
    2. Pioneer Press: Klobuchar Pleads Case for New Stillwater Bridge
    3. Reuters: Senate Should Act on Highway Bill After Break: Reid

     

    Other:

    1. Star Tribune: MN Prepares for Painful Reality Under Debt Deal
    2. Broken Sidewalk: Downtown Doesn't Need Any More Parking

     

     

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