Riverview Bus way (planes, trains and automobiles)
The Movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a farce about using all sorts of transportation modes to travel home for the holidays. By 2020-2030 the farce/comedy may be a reality. Think of it, carpooling with John Candy and Steve Martin in your future. Now is when decisions about corridors, bus-ways, commuter rail, bullet trains and light rail are being made that will affect those in their twilight years and those younger ones that will be the 2020 commuters. Gridlock is predicted if something is not done and government at all levels will be forced to act, and elected officials will be challenged on this issue.
The Riverview bus way and re-routing buses to form a conglomerate (grid) that is best for the Twin Cities are the hot topics to start the year 2001. At the 10/24/00 Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) Public Meeting, the West 7th street community turned out to let the Authority know their position. Basically, they believe the way to go is to just improve the existing express bus system, and that’s all that’s needed. This is an oversimplification, but Janice listened to their ideas and saw some of the points they raised as important factors in coming up with a workable solution for that portion of the corridor triangle.
The Star Tribune 12/20/00 described that when completed, Riverview will form the second leg of the inner triangle, a concentrated core of rapid transit routes connecting both downtown’s with the University of Minnesota, the airport and the mall area in east Bloomington. By 2020, this inner triangle is expected to be a catalyst for reviving large areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul while connecting them via bus ways and commuter rail lines to St. Cloud, Hastings, Northfield and other points.
At the RCRRA 11/21/00 meeting, Janice proposed six amendments to the Resolution 1) that the bus way design comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; 2) that the spur tracks that serve building and businesses adjacent to the railway be retained; 3) that efficient buses such as hybrid electric buses, should and must be employed on the Riverview Corridor Bus way; 4) that there should be no net loss in parking spaces and that the relocation of spaces be in consultation with businesses and neighborhoods; 5) RCRRA discourages the use of property tax dollars for the creation and operation of bus ways; and, 6) that the RCRRA be represented as policy makers and allowed to make recommendations on the bus way implementation to the Metropolitan Council. Equally critical to the neighbors was not having the bus run on West Seventh.
Janice’s thinking on these large, complex and futuristic happenings is to allow, as much as possible, input by those that are users (in this case, bus riders) and those that are impacted the most (neighborhoods and business communities).
"Listening within the community and communicating what is happening to all parties is my way of doing business, says Janice. “Right now we are addressing bus routes and we have already had a positive influence on the Northeast Metro Transit Restructuring Plan. The Arlington route will remain a key-link within the North End. Presently, we are also gathering ideas from the Como Lake community on how the new bus route should be laid out through the Park."
Continuing, "Now we are facing the decision of that third leg of the triangle —the Central Corridor. Where it will run and how it will impact University Ave. is critical. I will be seeking out your input on this. I am for the most economical way of doing things and for the most community input possible. This will be difficult because it is the heart beat between the two metro areas."
Janice is committed to giving the future twilight crowds and commuter generation the best that we see now, for the future.
Author: Commissioner Rettman's Office / Information Services