Progress abounds on Central Corridor as fall approaches

Fall is in the air, along with plenty of forward movement on the Central Corridor Light Rail Line. Construction is well underway in Lowertown and around the Capitol, road improvements on the U of M East Bank are wrapping up, construction contracts are being awarded, and the Met Council and the University have reached agreement.

In the midst of all of this, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative continues to actively invest beyond the rail in several areas. Here are just some of the highlights of our recent progress.

Ready for Rail
Mayors R.T. Rybak and Chris Coleman and Met Council Chairman Peter Bell were all on hand when the Business Resources Collaborative launched its Ready for Rail campaign on Tuesday, July 20. The Ready for Rail program provides much-needed resources to help business and property owners along the line prepare, survive and thrive during the light rail construction. Along with construction details including schedules, updates and parking information, the materials provide business owners with links to community-specific support services, loan programs and business consultants.

More than 1,500 Ready for Rail packets have been distributed to business and property owners along the line. Rumor has it the materials, which were printed in 5 different languages, made their way into a meeting in the White House with FTA Administrator Peter Roghoff and others.

Click to learn more about the Business Resources Collaborative and the Ready for Rail Campaign. This video segment on MinnPost.com provides an update on the Central Corridor project and mentions the Ready for Rail campaign.

Cityscape and The Line
The Funders Collaborative is pleased to provide support to two new online publications focused on economic-development, urban design and infrastructure — Cityscape on MinnPost.com and The Line. Both, are helping tell the story of the Central Corridor, while raising important issues and highlighting questions about urban design and development that are accessible to a broader audience.

Cityscape, written by Steve Berg on MinnPost.com, focuses on urban life in the metro area and topics covered range from urban design and architecture to transportation, highways, traffic, transit, walking and biking, as well as urban issues such as education, crime, poverty and family life.

The Line is an online economic-development focused magazine for the Twin Cities region focused on creativity in entrepreneurship, culture, and more. It will eventually build a deep microsite of transit-oriented development stories, including many about the Central Corridor. The Funders Collaborative website includes an RSS Feed of Central Corridor focused stories from The Line.

The Funders Collaborative is committed to making the most of opportunities that require collaboration and coordination over a sustained period among many different stakeholders across the Central Corridor. We believe both publications foster understanding among a broader audience of stakeholders and the public, highlighting important issues and raising important questions along the way.

Twin Cities TOD Workshops
This past spring and summer, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) and others hosted “Getting It Done,” a series of workshops on transit-oriented development (TOD).

Sponsored by local foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies and provided free to the community, the workshops showcased national models of success and featured peer-driven discussions on the tools and policies necessary to create thriving transit-oriented districts and walkable communities along the existing and emerging LRT, BRT and commuter lines throughout the Twin Cities region.

Read a summary of learnings from the workshops here.