Our Choices in Trips and Transportation Investments

The “built environment” influences choices about how we get around. Yet in the planning and policy making process, we also have a choice to help ensure decision makers choose the best investments for our infrastructure.
How easy is it to get to work or school or the store? How safe do you feel crossing the street once you’ve gotten there? What makes some methods of getting there easier or harder?
Public infrastructure, zoning, all private development all contribute to shaping opportunities for getting where we need to go. That built environment, combined with personal experiences and social conditions, impact what kind of trips we choose to take.
The City of St. Paul, along with the Ford Site Task Force, aims to establish a transportation and land use framework for the Ford Site that supports safe and accessible options for all ages and abilities.
Last Thursday April 30th, people filled Gloria Dei Fellowship Hall, to learn about what the City sees as opportunities for on-site transportation connections and to give feedback on proposed options.
Ford Site Task Force chair Kyle Makarios laid out that this input will go to refine the City’s transportation priorities and feed into a zoning and a Public Realm Plan to be completed early 2016. Development will hopefully begin around 2018.
Priorities guiding the City’s emerging transportation framework include:
  • Create an interconnected system
  • Design for a mix of density and activities to support transit through and around the site
  • Plan urban design & site layout to reduce auto trips and manage traffic impacts

Council Member Tolbert also helped frame up the City’s intentions in saying – “We’ve talked about building a 21st Century community here. This means we have an opportunity to build in ways that reflect our modern uses and plan for infrastructure that is ‘multimodal.’ This means taking a balanced approach, where we don’t have to make choices between parking and biking in front of a building.”

This could play out in many ways at the Ford Site, with bike and pedestrian corridors connecting to surrounding network laid out in the new St. Paul Bike Plan, integrated with through-streets to relieve traffic, and a possible transit connection through the Riverview Corridor. One possible outcome being considered is to “co-locate” a transit rail and bike-ped path along the rail spur. Also supporting transit connections, the new A Line Arterial  Rapid Bus (BRT), along Snelling and Ford Parkway) will bring service North of the site, while multiple bus lines may eventually be rerouted into the site.

With background on the context of trends, stats, definitions, existing studies, and such by St. Paul transportation planners Reuben Collins and Michelle Beaulieu, attendees were released to give feedback issue at tables spread around the room.

Everyone who attended and contributed their ideas was a part of helping shape the City’s transportation infrastructure decisions within the Ford Site.

Right now, everyone in Minnesota has the opportunity and the choice to improve transportation options across the state.  NOW the Move MN Campaign is urging our legislators to pass a long-term funding solution that prioritizes every method of transportation.

You and your neighbors too can help ensure our representatives invest in safe, accessible transportation for all, by taking action with the MOVE MN Campaign!

Finally, keep in mind the Upcoming Public Meetings, all 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church:

  • Streets, Traffic and Parking – Wednesday, May 27, 2015 
  • Stormwater and Infrastructure – Tuesday, June 23, 2015
  • Jobs and Housing – Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stay tuned!