Northside Transportation Network, UROC - May 20, 2010
Notes by Joan Vanhala – all changes/corrections welcome
Present: Raymond Dehn – Northside Residents Redevelopment Council, Maria Bernardy, Tony Parrish, Rob MacIntyre, Tijuana Hawkins, Tim Brausen – ISAIAH, Owen Duckworth – Transit for Livable Communities, Fred Olson, Joan Vanhala – Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Jim Erkel – MN Center for Environmental Advocacy, Matthew McGlory, Senator Linda Higgins, Krishawna Brown – WFS, Representative Bobby Joe Champion, Brent Rusco – Hennepin County
Welcome – Representative Champion
Introductions and what you hope is the result of our forming this group:
Leveraging community benefits
Transportation equity for north Minneapolis
Clear support and advocacy on what transit options Northside can support
Racial and social equity
Learn as much as I can about Bottineau Transitway
The best needs of northside are served by Bottineau Transitway
All communities are served
Economic development along LRT line in north Minneapolis
Construction contracts for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
Ensure a successful future for north Minneapolis and continuing jobs for community members
Help the community see what the Bottineau Transitway is and what it could be
Ensure community benefits
If the northside citizens are not at the table, they are on the menu
Objective evaluation to weigh the benefits and disadvantages for north Minneapolis
Bring more people in the community to the table
Community input is valued and has an impact on the planning
Support of West Broadway businesses
As taxpayers and citizens north Minneapolis devises to benefit from a major transportation infrastructure investment
Transit access for people without cars
Elevate business concerns
Comprehensive approach and strategies
Welcome community partners
These organizations committed support to this process:
West Broadway Business Area Coalition will create a website for the Northside Transportation Network as an information resource to the community with links to information and updates. They also will provide transportation planning support and organizing support.
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability will provide staff support and technical assistance. They have previous experience working with the Rondo community of securing 3 additional stations on the Central Corridor LRT
Transit for Livable Communities will provide staff support on organizing and transportation policy issues. They will also provide technical assistance on “Complete Streets” strategies. Complete Streets means that our streets are planned to be safe and accessible for pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists, and drivers—all users, regardless of age or ability.
MN Center for Environmental Advocacy will provide tools and research to ensure community benefits such as GIS mapping of neighborhood statistics as identified by this group. MCEA also has a communications manager that can help.
Representative Champion – was born and raised in north Minneapolis. Our best wishes will only be realized by the full participation of the community. We must be engaged in the full discussion about what will happen in our community. It is important that the community understands the system of planning and decision making. There are no dumb questions.
Choosing a facilitator – a good facilitator will move us along, keep us on track and assist with the agenda. The group agrees that Rep. Champion will continue on as the facilitator with Ray Dehn as his back up.
Updates on Bottineau Transitway:
There has been a core group of people who have been meeting to ensure that this group will happen – MN State Representative Bobby Joe Champion, Sarita Turner – West Broadway Business Area Coalition, Raymond Dehn and Sherri Pugh – Northside Residents Redevelopment Council, Malik Holt-Shabazz – Harrison Neighborhood Association, Joan Vanhala – Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Owen Duckworth – Transit for Livable Communities
Hennepin County update – Brent Rusco: there were three open houses scheduled to further the investigation on the D1 (Olson Memorial Hwy/BNSF rail line) and D2 (Olson Memorial Hwy/Penn Ave./West Broadway):
Transit Oriented Development Presentation, Tuesday May 18, 2010, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, UROC Facility, 2100 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis.
Open House I: Segment D1/D2 Investigation, Wednesday May 26, 2010, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM*, Robbinsdale City Hall, 4100 Lakeview Avenue North, Robbinsdale. (One block northeast of County Road 81 and 41st Avenue N. intersection).
Open House II: Segment D1/D2 Investigation, Thursday June 3, 2010, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM*, UROC Facility, 2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis.
It is important to encourage the community to attend these events. Along with investigating the 2 alignment options for north Minneapolis, they will also be looking into 3 options on how to connect with West Broadway in Robbinsdale.
The Bottineau Transitway project is entering the draft environmental impact statement stage before deciding on the locally preferred alignment (route selection). They will be holding off on the alignment selection until late in this process which will happen in approximately late 2011. After the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is complete, the Bottineau project will be given the go ahead by the Federal Transit Administration to enter into Preliminary Engineering. Preliminary Engineering goes into greater detail about the construction of the line. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will include community engagement throughout the process. The DEIS will also include social impacts. Hennepin County will lead the DEIS process. Hennepin County is moving forward with an RFP to create a consulting team to create the DEIS.
Hennepin County is also studying Oliver as a northbound alternative for one way car traffic and also as an alternative LRT route. The base option is to fit the LRT line onto Penn Avenue with 2 lines of LRT and on lane of one way car traffic with no on street parking. On the Oliver option for LRT there would be no car traffic but room for emergency vehicles only. They are also studying the option of acquiring the housing on the entire length of Penn Ave. from Olson to West Broadway. The goal of the D1/D2 Investigative Stakeholder meetings was to give the communities more in-depth options per their feedback.
Discussion: It is important to include the full story of the implications to these options – benefits and impacts. It is important to represent a holistic picture to the community when bringing this information forward. We hope that the Northside Transportation Network can be the place to tell that story. This group would like to be a part of the contracting process on how the consultants do their work to ensure the community is an integral part of this process. Brent Rusco talk with Hennepin County about working with the community on this.
Neighbors have asked if the community wanted to - could they stop the Bottineau Transitway or is it a “done deal”. Our bus infrastructure could use support now. The Alternative Analysis of the Bottineau Transitway always includes a no build scenario. Other lines have been studied and have not been built.
Action Item: schedule a Environmental Review 101 for this group to deepen our understanding of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement process.
It is documented that economic development happens around rail more than bus. LRT also attracts new riders. The Alternatives Analysis analyzed both Bus Rapid Transit and LRT as a mode based on 31 evaluation measures. There are different pots of $$ for transitways. The bus system is in a deficit right now.
In our region there is an increasing desire to build out public transit systems which creates competition on the funding. The rules on funding transportation projects at the federal level are going to change within the next couple of years. There is a push at the Bottineau Policy Advisory Committee to select the locally preferred alternative sooner than later. The community has some time to think about the route options along with addressing other issue such as social, economic, and environmental justice.
Establishing the Northside Transportation Network: The email list for this meeting was created from the list of people who signed up at the big meeting on April 15th. Our draft goal from this meeting can become our mission. We want to be as transparent as possible. We can send information out to the bigger email list from the April 15th meeting and incorporate it onto the website. For those without computers access can be provided at UROC. It is important to send out a notice to the big email list about the upcoming Hennepin County D1/D2 meeting. This group will partner with local media such as KMOJ and Insight News as we move forward.
Our mission: We as community members make a commitment to attending meetings on an ongoing basis to identify neighborhood issues, concerns, and solutions for the future development of the Bottineau Transitway. We will take the information we have learned back to the broader community. This working group is committed to an authentic, transparent, accountable community process with the ultimate goal of leveraging community benefits for north Minneapolis.
Identify priority issues: since we are running out of time at this meeting, we will all look over the list of issues to prioritize at the next meeting. Pick out 1 or 2 that are your priority(s) and jot down what that means to you and bring to the next meeting.
Representative Champion has been in conversation with Bottineau PAC to secure representation from this group. Minneapolis Urban League would sponsor this representative through their organization. This person would be an active member of this group.
ACTION ITEMS FOR FOLLOW THROUGH:
Create website for Northside Transportation Network – Sarita , West Broadway Business Area Coalition
Brent Rusco will report back as to this group being an active part of the contract for the DEIS
Environmental Studies 101 for next session – Jim, MN Ctr for Environmental Advocacy
Schedule a ride on the Hiawatha LRT – Rep. Champion, Joan and Sarita will draft an agenda for the tour ie: transit oriented development & safety
Representative Champion will continue to work on securing a seat at the Bottineau PAC for this group.
Announcement for next Henn. Co. Bottineau D1/D2 Open House will go out on everyones email list to get a good turn out: Rep. Champion, Sen. Higgins, Brent Rusco
Each person will go over the list of issues and pick out 1 or 2 that are your priority(s) and jot down what that means to you and bring to the next meeting.
Next meeting Thursday , June 17th 6:30pm @ UROC
Environmental Study 101