October 29, 2014
By Kyle Mianulli, Hamline Midway Coalition
Community leaders and transportation advocates from across Saint Paul joined elected representatives and policy officials on Saturday, October 25th to begin plotting the path to a more equitable transportation system for all.
Saint Paul Healthy Transportation for All: Building Grassroots Capacity was a historic event for Minnesota’s capital city. Never before has such a broad coalition of community leaders, organizations and policy officials come together to begin addressing issues around transportation from a ground-up perspective in Saint Paul.
Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman addresses a full house.
“We are at a transportation crossroads,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger told a crowd at the event held at Carpenters Hall. Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle and Mayor Chris Coleman also presented.
With the aim of empowering communities and individuals to get involved in transportation planning in Saint Paul, attendees of the event participated in active and engaging discussion throughout the day. They discussed challenging questions about how new transportation projects are conceived, developed, funded and implemented, and how that process could be improved to increase involvement and improve equity. A series of breakout sessions throughout the day covered topics including:
- Racial equity and transit
- Saint Paul’s transportation funding process
- Q&A with a panel of Transportation officials
- Walkability, accessibility, and biking in Saint Paul
- ‘Telling Our Transportation Stories’ session
Saint Paul continues to invest in important transportation infrastructure improvements. The new Green Line LRT, the citywide Saint Paul Bicycle Plan, Bus Rapid Transit routes, streetcars and more are all part of the long range transportation plan that will continue to transform the city in the coming years.
As planning for a modern transportation system progresses at break-neck speeds, it is more important than ever that communities and individuals are involved in the planning process.
The Saint Paul Healthy Transportation for All convening was a momentous first step, and efforts are already underway to carry that energy into a new era of transportation planning that is inclusive, equitable and prosperous.