• 15Nov

    For 2 years I have worked with the Urban Land Institute, Rose Center for Public Leadership, and National League of Cities on a project to provide guidance on best practices for urban / suburban commercial corridors. I was approached to be part of the project after a presentation of the Uptown project, which is held up as a national best practice. That project is featured starting on page 22 of the report.

    ULI Building Healthy Corridors 

     

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  • 20Oct

    Topics discussed:

    1. Development
    2. Affordable Housing
    3. Transportation
    4. Broadband

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  • 13Oct

    Answers coming soon.

    Affordable Housing:
    Considering the massive crisis that we face in the availability of affordable housing for households with income below $55,000 per year, what do you think is the responsibility of City government to help create affordable housing and what specific measures do you think the City could take now to facilitate the development of affordable housing?

    Education:
    We recognize that you are running for City Council, not the School Board. However, given the importance of our children’s education, we are asking this question:
    What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Rochester related to the education of our youth, and what, in your role as a City Council member, are the factors you will consider to address this?

    Living Wage:
    Do you support tying a Living Wage to any business seeking public funding from the city?

    Historic Preservation:
    What do you think would be the appropriate response by the city council regarding the current situation with the Kutzky House?

    Social Services:
    How are you going to get input from the working poor of Rochester on an ongoing basis? Will you include housing, transportation and living wages in your conversations?

    Sustainability:
    “The workforce we want is attracted by sustainability. Our Mayor has made a proclamation that Rochester will be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2031. And the one formal city initiative on energy sustainability is our Climate Smart Municipalities partnership with German cities. What are three ways you would lead the city council to capitalize on our German partnership to create a more attractive and sustainable city?”

    Transportation:
    Plans for the DMC and the City Comprehensive plan call for a significant shift away from people driving alone into Rochester for work and other trips. Much of the public investment in the DMC revolves around improvements to public transit, especially buses. Biking and pedestrian route upgrades are also included, and demand for them is growing. However, we’ve also seen a recent uptick in crashes involving people walking or biking. Recent figures show that 2016 is on par to be the deadliest year for pedestrians in Minnesota as a whole, and this is especially true in Rochester. Two of the seven bicycle related deaths were in Rochester. What are your priorities on making it easier for people to drive less so we can meet these goals and to do so safely?

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  • 03Sep

    Too many pedestrians & cyclists are dying. People are more willing to use protected infrastructure and it is safe.

    Here are some pictures and examples of how they work.

    2 recent deaths:

    Tuesday:

    Previous week:

    The data is very clear that protected bike lanes work:

    Data on protected bike lanes

    Contrary to common belief on street infrastructure is safer than off street. Especially when done right.

    Lots of good reasons to do this.

    Why invest in bike infrastructure?

    Here are 8 game changers that would help Rochester for an infrastructure perspective:

    1: West Rochester Bikeway

    West Rochester Bikeway

    2: Broadway Ave:

    Broadway: The next critical Public Works Project

    3: City Loop

    4: Close trail gaps:

    1. Cascade Creek between Highway 52 Frontage Road & Kutzky Park
    2. Silver Lake / Broadway Ave / 14th Street NE
    3. Soldiers Field along River on Both Sides
    4. Zumbro River to the North
    5. 7th street NE to Quarry Hill
    6. SE to Gamehaven along former rail bed

    5: Kutzky Greenway connecting the park to St. Marys & City Loop.

    6: Regional trails to Byron (Stagecoach), Stewartville (Planned State Trail), Eyota (Planned trail through Chester Woods), Oronoco (No current plans). Despite my objections, Olmsted County did not allow for a bike trail to go under the new bridge being built at 55th street.

    7: Don’t forget about trees or else the routes can be unpleasant in the summer.

     

     

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  • 14Jul

    The Rochester City Council will consider this piece of work on Monday. Thanks to all the people that poured a lot of energy and advocacy into this.

    Rochester Energy Action Plan

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  • 05Jun

    If Rochester is ever going to be a serious safe bike city like Minneapolis we will need to greatly improve our infrastructure and fill in missing connections. Here is some data and presentation on protected bike lanes (which are the gold standard).

    Portland State Data on Protected Bike Lanes

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  • 16Apr

    The improvements the city made to the (Denise Robertson ;-)) Uptown area continue to pay dividends. We took an blighted stretch of roadway that was unsafe for all users and turned it into an urban section that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and cars. The market is responding with huge increases in property values, a number of private developments are in the works, and sales of existing properties are off the charts.

     photo Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 10.46.29 AM_zpsshbz2a77.png

    The result is a district that is safer, more attractive, but also generates so much more in tax revenue that it will pay for the full cost of enhancements in less than a decade.

    I look forward to sharing several new developments with the public in the coming months.

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  • 12Nov

    9 1/2 years after the needless death of a child, the county once again met to discuss ideas to address safety issues in the area around Harriet Bishop Elementary School. I submitted nearly the exact same recommendation I did 7 years ago. In that time not a single safety improvement has been made in that area. Read more…

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  • 11Nov

    I thought I would share some of the evolving DMC Transportation plans.  Transit is likely the MOST important part of the DMC district with everything else far behind.  We need to get tens of thousands more people downtown while adding 0 new lanes of travel.  Clearly walking, biking, car pool, and transit are critical.

    November 3 DMC Transit Update

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  • 27Oct

    So here is a tweet that I was mentioned in and I figured I would give a thorough response

    @Miss_Kell_Bell@VoteWojcik besides a very small group of bike fanatics, does anyone in #rochmn care one bit about bike lanes? #carsareking

    I do hear the comments often enough I thought I would throw out some facts.

    1. Cyclists as a group are growing fast, not just in Rochester but everywhere.  For the first time ever a large percentage of 18 – 24 year olds are choosing not to get licenses.  They prefer to rely on public transit, walking and biking.  If we want to compete for the talent we need to be ready.
    2. Most roads are funded with sales, income, and property taxes.  There is a myth that gas taxes pay for most roads and maintenance.  They do not.  Cycle routes cost much less to build and maintain than roadways for automobiles and cyclists such as myself contribute to the funds.
    3. There is pent up demand for safe routes.  Communities don’t see a surge in bicycling until there are safe routes nearly everywhere, in Rochester cyclists still face many unsafe gaps in the system.  As the system improves bikers increase in numbers.  To put this in perspective we don’t wait so see how many people swim across a river before we build a bridge.  As such we must anticipate what the demand for cycle routes might be.
    4. The potential for cycling in the US has been demonstrated.  Minneapolis looks to be headed towards 5-10% year round bicycle commuters.  If Rochester could get 10% of the downtown workforce to bike this would translate to at least $90 million worth of freed up parking downtown.  This is twice the value  of completing every cycling improvements between now and 2040.
    5. The amount of cyclists in Rochester is commonly underestimated.  Frequently I hear that no one takes the bridge over highway 14.  We measured it for 3 months and there were over 30,000 trips taken.  In 2015 there will likely be more than 100,000 trips across the bridge.
    6. Bike lanes are still needed even when bike paths are present.  Contrary to common belief, bike lanes are far safer than bike paths for cyclists.  This is because the perceived danger of having a cyclist sharing the road with cars is far less than the actual danger of having cyclists crossing at intersections and interacting with often distracted pedestrians.  Bike paths are great for kids and recreational rides, lanes are far better for frequent trips.  These safety numbers are confirmed in Minneapolis data.
    7. Businesses in areas that are friendly to pedestrians and cyclists do far better.  Again a number of national studies show that complete streets improve business performance.
    8. (From Kelly Corbin) Bike infrastructure is about building an inclusive and equitable community where we want all people to be able to access jobs, housing and education. For those who can’t afford a car or are unable to have a license due to health, age, or previous mistakes; bikes can be a great transportation option. Bike infrastructure means we can all access our destinations safely, something all Rochester citizens deserve.

    This is why we will continue to heavily invest in bicycle infrastructure.

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