Tonight: Public Input Meeting – Long Range Transportation Plan Update

This just in from schaefs:

  WHY?
The purpose of the public meeting will be to provide a public involvement opportunity at the early stages of the MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan Update process. At the meeting, citizens will be asked for their input on issues, needs and opportunities that could affect the Grand Forks – East Grand Forks transportation system.
This meeting is the first of five public meetings that will be conducted during the study.
WHEN?
May 16, 2012
Open House: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Formal Presentation at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE?
Grand Forks City Hall – Council Chambers 
255 North Fourth Street Grand Forks, ND

The meeting announcement (with more detailed information) can be found here.

7 thoughts on “Tonight: Public Input Meeting – Long Range Transportation Plan Update”

  1. Today at the MPO, there was serious discussion about putting up a chain link fence on both sides of University Avenue to keep pedestrians from crossing anywhere besides cross walks.

    Council member Christensen also suggested we never use bike lanes, because no one uses them, and if we do more bike infrastructure we do it with bike paths only.

    This event is your chance to weigh in – and there will be more follow ups as well – but every individual meeting will be important.

  2. First, here are the maps from the meeting, with all sorts of interesting data: http://theforksmpo.org/LRTP16may12OpenHouse.pdf

    A.K., I didn’t get a chance to go either since I was preparing for my exam yesterday. Does anyone have any comments on what the meeting was like? The minutes are not up yet.

    Tyrone, welcome to the blog! I have the sense you’re trying to rile people up, but whatever gets someone to the meeting…

    The fence suggestion is ludicrous. Guliani tried this in New York to prevent jaywalking, I assume as a last-ditch effort; to suggest a similar action in Grand Forks makes no sense at all. Fences are a reaction to repeated serious injuries or deaths, not to having to wait five more seconds to drive down a street that runs through a university. I’d be interested in hearing where that conversation ended up.

    We have ONE bike lane in the whole city, and it’s not being used? This is a prime example of reacting without having any supporting evidence. I’ll say this: they seem to be used an awful lot when school is in session, so now we have two opinions. Have there been any formal cycle counts on University Avenue, or anywhere else in the city?

  3. I’m not sure if we’ve done bike counts, but I concur with your observation. They are being used.

    I was trying to rile people up, but I was reporting exactly what happened, unfortunately.

    I didn’t know they tried fences in New York – but I did know when they removed fences in other cities the number of accidents went down.

    The people in these positions right now think in a car-centered way rather than people-centered. Comments like this bear that out and they are fairly common.

  4. Tyrone, I wasn’t trying to attack you for sharing these comments from our city leaders, I just wanted to clarify whether or not they are the rule or the exception. So rather than reacting to the MPO and Council member Christiensen with “wow, these guys are idiots, why are they in charge?” I would rather focus (in my hippy-dippy way) on “what do we have in common that we can work with?”

    You’ve said before that the perception in the Grand Forks city government is that bicycles are for fun, not for work. I would add an additional perception that commuting by bicycle or walking (not driving to work, or not driving to the store, or not dropping you kids off at school in the minivan) is a sign of lower socioeconomic (or even criminal) status. It’s a sad thing when people who commute by bicycle are asked “so why’d you lose your license?” or are automatically assumed not to have a car at all. The point is that people in this community who have made different transportation choices are labeled as unimportant or defective in some way–ironic in a state that breeds its fair share of libertarians and supporters of personal responsibility.

    How do we help people accept our choices as non-motorists, or part-time motorists? I (like many cycle commuters and perennial pedestrians) own a car, drive it sometimes, and understand what it’s like to be behind the wheel. The difference is that many of the people leading our city have not had an equal amount of experience commuting by bicycle. Nearly everyone has ridden, I’m sure, and some perhaps enjoy going out and riding along the Greenway on the weekends, but how many ride from home to work even once a year? How many walk to the corner store instead of driving across town for milk? How many have tried getting anywhere in a wheelchair (not even in the winter; you know some of the sidewalks are not up to par)? The people we need making transportation decisions for the city are not motorists, or cyclists, or pedestrians, or bus-riders, or the differently abled, but people who understand ALL of these transportation modes from firsthand experience. Finding one cyclist, one motorist, one bus-rider, etc. to sit on a committee is one thing, but encouraging all of them to utilize all transportation modes available in Grand Forks would be a step toward a greater appreciation of all residents, not just the ones behind a steering wheel.

  5. Is there a way to get on an email list to find out about these meetings in advance? I think part of the issue is I usually find out about these things at the last minute or after the fact. The fact of the matter is it’s hard to keep track of life activities (family, work, etc.) and stay in-tuned with every city website that posts upcoming meetings. Matt was fortunate enough to alert me to the Washington Corridor planning meeting, and I felt I helped give the cyclists some presence (and it shows in the mock-up plans).

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