The Metropolitan Council recently released its draft 2030 Transportation Policy Plan (TPP). This important document, prepared every four years, guides the region’s planning and investment in surface transportation, including roads, transit, highways, walking, and bicycling.
Since the 2004 Transportation Policy Plan was adopted, gas prices have fluctuated dramatically, the economy has faltered, concerns about climate change have increased, and an interstate bridge collapsed. Twin Cities residents are driving less and riding transit, walking, and bicycling more. The density of new residential growth in the region is still very low, raising the cost of everything from public infrastructure to school bus transportation.
Twin Cities commuters are packing buses and light rail trains everyday, but the Metropolitan Council has drafted a transportation plan that can only handle half of the future demand.
The draft plan is encouraging in its de-emphasis on highway expansion, but the strategies proposed in this draft plan are too timid, too general, and fall too far behind similar regions around the country, especially in view of the plan's lack of a strong connection between land use and transportation.
Transit for Livable Communities partnered with Fresh Energy, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and the Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, and documented concerns in a joint memo. Those concerns include a lack of measurable outcomes, insufficient funding for transit, insufficient attention to bicycling and walking, a lack of clarity regarding highway prioritization, and a lack of commitment to strategies that will advance more transit-supportive land use. Transit for Livable Communities and its allies also testified at a public hearing on October 22nd.
Check out the full report. For help in writing your own comments, contact Michelle Dibblee at 651-767-0298 or MichelleD [at] tlcminnesota.org. Written comments are due to the Metropolitan Council on November 6th, so please send in your comments here.