The Metropolitan Council just 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, especially in transit, highways, walking and bicycling.
The Council will hold six informational open houses this fall. Open houses will include a presentation about the 2030 Transportation Policy Plan and opportunities to comment or ask questions. A public hearing, where official comments will be taken, is scheduled for October 22nd. Open houses are scheduled throughout October (see dates/locations below).
Transit for Livable Communities has reviewed the draft plan. Based on experience working for a balanced transportation system, TLC suggests the following comments at open houses to help strengthen the 2030 plan for transit.
- The Met Council has a goal of doubling transit ridership by 2030, but the TPP does not suggest a funding mechanism to reach this goal (TPP page 30: “While this policy plan calls for the doubling of transit ridership by 2030, of which over 28 percent is anticipated to come from growth in the bus system, it is very uncertain that a funding source to provide for this growth can be identified). Comment/question: Several potential funding sources are identified and potentially available to help meet this stated goal, including 1) increasing the regional property tax and use it for both capital and operating costs, 2) increasing the state’s general fund contribution to transit, 3) increasing the share of MVST revenues that go to transit (vs. roads), and/or 4) increasing the regional sales tax (beyond ¼ cent) to transit.
- New roads or major road construction projects should safely accommodate all users (i.e. bicyclists, pedestrians, transit, and cars). But the TPP only “encourages” these provisions (TPP page 7: states that “The Council will encourage roadway and transit investments to include provisions for bicycle and pedestrian travel"). Comment/question: To only “encourage” investments for all users is not strong enough. A requirement would be better. I would like to see the Metropolitan Council follow the lead of other metro areas to adopt a “complete streets” regional policy requiring all new roadways and transit investments to safely accommodate all transportation modes.
Please attend one of the following open houses:
- Thursday, Sept. 25, 5-7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, Minnetonka City Hall, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka.
- Tuesday, Sept. 30, 5-7:00 p.m., Clover Leaf Room, Blaine City Hall, 10801 Town Square Dr. NE, Blaine.
- Thursday, Oct. 2, 5-7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, Woodbury City Hall, 8301 Valley Creek Rd., Woodbury.
- Thursday, Oct. 9, 5-7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, Eagan City Hall, 3830 Pilot Knob Rd., Eagan.
- Friday, Oct. 10, 11-1:00 p.m., Doty Room, Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.
- Thursday, Oct.16, 11-1:00 p.m., Alliance Bank Skyway, Sixth and Cedar Sts., Saint Paul
To obtain a copy of the plan, contact the Metropolitan Council Data Center at 651-602-1140 or online at http://www.metrocouncil.org/planning/transportation/TPP/2008/index.htm
Within the coming weeks, Transit for Livable Communities will provide an overview and comments on the plan, so keep an eye on www.tlcminnesota.org for more information. If you'd like to learn more, please contact Michelle at 651-767-0298 or MichelleD [at] tlcminnesota.org.
If you'd like to provide official comments on the plan, please attend a public hearing on the plan at 5:00 p.m. October 22nd in the Council chambers, 390 N. Robert St., St. Paul. Public comments will be taken until November 6th, 2008.