By Jessica Treat, Executive Director
Our staff has spent more than a year engaging communities along the Riverview Corridor. The conversations we’ve had and the 251 survey responses we’ve collected from people in Saint Paul’s West 7th, Highland Park, and Downtown neighborhoods have strongly informed our organization’s stance on this project.
On September 28, the TLC-Smart Trips Board of Directors officially adopted the following position on the Riverview Corridor project. As plans for transit improvements between downtown Saint Paul, the airport, and the Mall of America move forward, we look forward to continuing to work with community members to shape this important multimodal project and ensure it serves neighbors and transit riders well.
Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips Resolution of Support for Riverview Corridor Locally Preferred Alternative:
WHEREAS the merged organization of Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips (TLC-Smart Trips), in its role as Saint Paul Transportation Management Organization, works to improve access and mobility for those who travel in and around Saint Paul;
WHEREAS as the mission and purpose of TLC-Smart Trips includes collaborating with individuals, organizations and government to promote the use of sustainable transportation options, educate public officials about the need for investment in transportation choices, and work toward development of zoning that promotes more transit use, bicycling, and walking and less use of single occupant vehicles;
WHEREAS the Riverview Corridor Study has been underway since 2014, working to identify the best option for route and vehicles for a future transit line between downtown Saint Paul, the airport, and the Mall of America;
WHEREAS TLC-Smart Trips is a transportation advocacy organization whose current and future members will be directly impacted and served by the Riverview Corridor;
WHEREAS ST/TLC has actively engaged the community along the proposed corridor routes throughout 2016 and 2017 by holding one-to-ones and community conversations to hear community’s priorities and concerns;
WHEREAS the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) of the Riverview Corridor is nearing the final stage of their Pre-Development phase and is scheduled to decide on a Locally Preferred Alternative from six remaining alternatives in December of 2017; and
WHEREAS ST/TLC desires the PAC be informed of the community’s perspectives through communication of TLC-Smart Trips’ community findings, all of which inform TLC-Smart Trips’ support of a Locally Preferred Alternative;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of TLC-Smart Trips supports Riverview Corridor Alternative #4B, “Modern Streetcar W. 7th,“ inclusive of the following requirements:
- A Phase I route alignment must first serve residents along the W. 7th connection between downtown Saint Paul and the Airport/Mall of America based on community need, density, and population.
- A direct connection must be provided along 46th Street to the Ford Site in Phase 2. Both connections are important and must be adequately served and timely.
- Any route alignment must take maximum advantage of W. 7th Street to increase access and economic development of the major thoroughfares along the corridor.
- Any streetcar solution must include implementation of a Bicycle-Rail Assessment to define safe bicycling connections with diagonal rail lines.
- Any route alignment must provide quality walking and bicycle connections for all ages and abilities.
- Transit signal priority should be given at every intersection to minimize travel time.
- Bus/rail should be accommodated within the existing right-of-way rather than prioritize current traffic levels and on-street car storage.
- A Community Benefits Agreement should be completed to ensure the communities impacted by this project benefit from the project. The agreement should address, at a minimum: affordable housing, small business loans, green space, safety, and local hiring.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that TLC-Smart Trips opposes a “no build” option, or any option that would solely rely on local bus service and does not improve walking and bicycle networks.
This is in accordance with TLC-Smart Trips’ core values and beliefs as follows:
Access & Choice
TLC-Smart Trips is committed to the creation of a regional transportation system that provides freedom of choice in mode (including walking, rolling, bicycling, transit) and access for all people to participate fully in economic activities, community, and social connections.
TLC-Smart Trips believes that the most effective solutions are developed by those closest to, and most impacted by, the decisions made about their communities. We gear our work toward deeply listening to communities, working in partnership, and creating a platform to elevate multiple user voices and diverse perspectives.
TLC-Smart Trips is committed to producing concrete outcomes that address disparities in the access to transportation choices and economic inclusion based on race, class, gender, age, ability, or location.
TLC-Smart Trips is committed to enabling well-informed people to make good decisions about the future of the region’s transit system. Toward that end, we ground our work in valid and reliable information, advocate with objectivity, and demonstrate political savvy so that TLC-Smart Trips is seen as a trusted and credible resource for the region.
Organizational Excellence & Transparency
TLC-Smart Trips is committed to operating in a way that mirrors the change we hope to create in the world. Toward that end, we intentionally commit to honesty, integrity, justice, and civility in all of our organizational and community interactions.
TLC-Smart Trips is committed to the responsible and thoughtful use of its organizational resources. TLC-Smart Trips is committed to advocate for policies and transportation solutions that sustainably stewards the land and all the environmental and community resources that interact with transportation systems.
TLC-Smart Trips is committed to focusing on long-term solutions, comprehensive policy change, and re-framing cultural practices to create an accessible multi-modal transportation system that de-emphasizes the use of single occupant cars in favor of expanded walking, rolling, bicycling, and transit options.