Walk the Talk: Transportation Projects Abound

Editor’s note: Walk the Talk is Streets.mn’s carefully curated, highly partisan collection of both serious and fun-loving events, community meetings and opportunities for engagement that we think will interest our readers. Email your ideas to Hawken Habig, one of our daily editors, at hawkenhabig@gmail.com.

Highway 55/Olson Memorial Highway Study Public Meeting – Monday, June 26, 3-4:30 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is officially initiating the community engagement phase of the Olson Memorial Multimodal Study, in an effort to provide a long-term vision for the corridor. On Monday, June 26, officials will host a virtual public Policy Advisory Committee meeting, including a presentation and an opportunity for the community to give input on the project. For more information on potential alternatives to the highway, check out the Bring Back 6th campaign, which seeks to restore the corridor to a community street, rather than the hazardous highway currently in place. In addition to the June 26 meeting, consider supporting the vision of Bring Back 6th by signing their petition, volunteering or donating.

Rock Your Ride – Wednesday, June 28, 6 p.m.

Join Move Minnesota for its annual concert fundraiser: Rock your Ride! Move Minnesota advocates for sustainable transportation by increasing the viability of biking, walking and public transit in Minnesota. The concert will feature local artists at an outdoor venue (the Hook & Ladder in Minneapolis), with proceeds going to support the organization’s mission. And if you would like to do more to help forward Move Minnesota’s goals, the search is still on for a couple of volunteers to stand by and share information with concertgoers about the organization. (Added perk: free admission!)

Blue Line Extension Community Engagement

Graphic courtesy of Metro Transit.

After plans for the Blue Line extension through North Minneapolis were derailed thanks to an impasse with BNSF Railway, transportation planners at the Metropolitan Council are once again on the verge of finalizing a route recommendation. Public officials are still soliciting community feedback on alternative route options in hopes of settling on a route later this summer. Upcoming opportunities for engagement may be found here, in an expansive list that includes open houses, pop-up events and meetings for the Community Advisory Committee. Given the scale of the investment, it is important to get this project right –- so give your input, if you can!

St. Paul Bicycle Plan Open House – Wednesday, June 28, 6-7:30 p.m.

Graphic courtesy of the City of St. Paul.

In case you missed it: The deadline to comment on St. Paul’s Draft Bicycle Plan has been extended through July. Read more about the plan here and provide feedback through an online interactive map and survey. Additionally, city staff will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, June 28, at the Frogtown Community Center to provide an overview of the draft, address concerns and gather feedback. Take the opportunity to show support for more comprehensive bicycle infrastructure in the city!

Bus Rapid Transit Project Updates

Graphic courtesy of Metro Transit.

Metro Transit continues to make steady progress in fulfilling its ambitious vision for a regional bus rapid transit network, with some currently under construction and others yet to be planned. Below is a select list of projects to keep an eye on, including public engagement opportunities and project updates:

  • B Line (Lake, Marshall and Selby): Slated to open late next year along the corridors of the current Route 21 bus. Commuters will inevitably experience some construction headaches. Know when you might be heading into delays by signing up for updates on the project webpage.
  • E Line (Hennepin and France): Project planners for the E Line, whose Final Corridor Plan was approved roughly one year ago, are now soliciting community feedback on the transit line. Review project materials and provide input through the project’s online survey and interactive map by July 10.
  • Gold Line (East I-94 Corridor): Also undergoing construction, the Gold Line – serving the I-94 corridor east of Downtown St. Paul – is set to open in 2025. Sign up for construction updates on the project webpage.
  • Purple Line: Since city leaders in White Bear Lake decided to block the planned BRT route north of St. Paul, Ramsey County has been forced to reevaluate the routing of the Purple Line, most recently along the Bruce Vento Regional Trail on the city’s east side, where neighbors are fighting to move the BRT line to White Bear Avenue. To help determine a new route, project staff will be stationed at several community events at least through the end of this month. Look here to get a full list of times and locations.

About Hawken Habig

Hawken is a student of Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a copy editor at Streets.mn. He also composes Streets.mn's bi-weekly event listing "Walk the Talk;" email any ideas for events or opportunities to hawkenhabig@gmail.com!