- Red Rock Corridor updates
- Boys Totem Town updates
Lyssa Leitner (Washington County and project manager for Red Rock)
- Provides a little history on the Red Rock Corridor and its original idea of using the existing rail track for commuter rail. She notes that the idea has changed and explains the move over to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), what that is and how it works. She notes that BRT would operate in addition to the current express bus routes but would be more convenient for more people than the current bus service, providing all-day service in both directions along the line. She discusses the possible stops and how the system and implementation would work. There are two alternatives being considered for alignment. One of these would connect with 3 additional stops on the east side - at Etna, Earl and Mound Blvd.
- At this point Ms. Leitner asks for questions – Will the BRT leave Hwy 61 for the stops.? Yes.
- She moves her talk to the Lower Afton Site. The site is difficult to expand with Indian Burial Mounds to the immediate south and park/wetlands to the north. She asks for questions.
- Comment from attendees that scaling back Gateway and Red Rock from LRT to BRT has cascading effects on economic development and that St. Paul is getting the short end of the mass transit investment dollars versus Hennepin County which will see long term development benefits. L. Leitner talks about the cost effectiveness numbers of rail in our current funding systems. That funding system makes LRT unworkable from the funding perspective under the current environment – there are too few projected riders for the cost that would be involved with light rail.
- What is the difference in cost between LRT and BRT? Gateway Rail was $1 Billion, 2 Lanes of BRT was $500 million. The Red Rock Proposal is about $45 million.
- Is there an immediate solution to the pedestrian problem at the Lower Afton park and ride? There are no immediate plans but better signage or markings might help. Metro Transit knows that it is a problem and she recommends that more people notify Metro Transit to see about enticing them to do something. She will also mention it to their staff at her next meeting with them. (NOTE: this contact has been made and Metro Transit is looking into options.)
P. Sawyer asks the D1 board members to stand for a moment so that attendees will know who is on the board. He then brings up County Commissioner Jim McDonough.
Boys Totem Town
- J. McDonough provides an overview/history of the Boys Totem Town issue and needs. He introduces several folks that are with him tonight from Ramsey and Hennepin County: John Klavins (head of Corrections), Keith Lattimer (head of Boys Totem Town) and Chris Crutchfield (Corrections Communication officer), Angela Cousins (Hennepin County project manager), Keith Allen (Ramsey County project manager). J. McDonough believes that we will get to a joint Hennepin/Ramsey site at a new location. We still have 3 to 4 years before the site would be vacated. He believes that “unless there is a real hiccup, we’ll be leaving (the current) site.” He reiterates that Ramsey County will work with the city and the community to determine what to do with the current site when it is vacated.
- Sheldon Johnson reiterates Commissioner McDonough’s comments on involving the neighborhood. B. Leach also announces that D1 will be working with interested neighbors going forward.
- Several different ideas are espoused as to what should/could happen at the site.
- Which school district will be chosen to provide services/how will that work at relocated facility? Usually the partnership is with the school district where the facility is located.
There are some concluding comments and P. Sawyer thanks everyone for attending and adjourns the meeting at 8:16 pm.