I know I’m down on the City of Minneapolis’ Public Works Department a lot, so I wanted to mention something I found that they did that was really cool. The Met Council has a new draft 2030 Transportation Policy Plan that is out for comments right now. The plan itself is an improvement, in that it recognizes more explicitly than before that the region won’t fix congestion by building new highways. But what I really like are the comments, approved by the Transportation & Public Works Committee today, by a gaggle of planners from the city’s public works department.
The bulk of their comments are on the Transit chapter, and they serve to prod the Met Council to beef up their definition of the Arterial BRT Network to an Arterial Transitway Network. This is certainly due to the City’s sporadic support of a streetcar network (including, of course, their TIGER II application for an Alternatives Analysis for the Central-Nicollet line(s)), but also opens the door to other technologies along these routes. I also like that they speak up about the Plan’s emphasis on express buses (as opposed to local or arterial transit). Their comments include the fact that “urban local bus routes comprise over 3/4 of ridership on Metro Transit bus routes, and bus routes serving the High-Frequency Network comprise over 1/3 of ridership on Metro Transit bus routes.” (p. 5) Vaguely-worded (is the High-Frequency stat a subset of the urban local stat, or separate?), it is an important considering the lack of attention shown to improving those routes.
Also worth noting is their advocacy for a regional bicycling plan. While most trips are short (as the City transportation planners note), in an interconnected region (read: municipally-fractured) like this one, they often cross city limits. I might add that there is an important branding effect for regional networks, which would be a boon for the growing cycling tourism industry.
I’m going to try to add the pdf in case it disappears off the city site.Draft-2030-Transportation-Policy-COMMENTS