Please take the Coalition's Transportation survey -- It's an important opportunity for you to share your transit habits, priorities, highlights, and concerns along the Midtown Greenway and Lake Street.
The Midtown Greenway Coalition supports and advocates for sustainable transportation as a way to help improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and protect the environment. Sustainable transportation also helps support economic development - and in the case of biking and walking - is good for health too!
To encourage more people to bike, we partner with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, Bike Walk Twin Cities, and other bicycling advocates in various promotional events, including Bike Walk Week.
We are proud that the Midtown Greenway has become the spine for commuting by bike in Minneapolis, offering a quick and safe way to get across town. As a way to encourage even more year-round bike commuting, we organize the Winter Wonder Ride, in partnership with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and Bike Walk Twin Cities. We also offer workshops on commuting by bike, and seek ways to encourage more people to take more trips via bike.
Walking is also a great form of sustainable transportation, so we work with local neighborhood organizations to encourage and support walking in the Greenway. Our outreach into nearby neighborhoods has resulted in more people walking in the Greenway, for both transportation and exercise.
We also advocate for getting a streetcar in the Greenway, which will not only improve public transit in the Midtown Corridor, but will help bring more people to the Greenway. More people in the Greenway is good for economic development, and also helps prevent crime. See below for more info.
NEW! Check out this great article by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl in MPLS-St.Paul Magazine about the Midtown Greenway streetcar.
A Step Closer to a Streetcar in the Greenway?
Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis
Metro Transit’s Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis (AA) is currently studying the Greenway and Lake Street to address the need for transit improvements along the Midtown Corridor. In a recent meeting, the Corridor’s Policy Advisory Council voted to narrow the scope of study to three options for the corridor: Enhanced Arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Lake Street, a Streetcar on the Midtown Greenway, or a combination of BOTH, with an extension of the bus line to St. Paul's Green Line at University and Snelling.
In May 2013, Metro Transit is hosted two Open Houses for community members and local businesses to discuss these options. Open Houses are a critical way for Metro Transit to share information on the project with the community, accept feedback on transportation modes and needs of the community. This was the second set of Open Houses; there will be one more this fall. We strongly encourage community attendance in these meetings, as these are among the most valuable ways that community members can educate themselves and share their perpsectives on transit along the corridor.
The Greenway Coalition supports a Streetcar on the Greenway; among its many benefits, a Streetcar will help improve safety on the Greenway, provide a swift, off-road transit option in the corridor, and facilitate connectivity between the existing Hiawatha Light Rail and future Southwest Light Rail. We believe that this will provide vitality and strength to the Midtown Corridor’s neighborhoods and businesses.
Over the past year, the Midtown Greenway Coalition has worked hard to inform neighborhood organizations and local communities about the study, and to discuss our vision for a Midtown Greenway Streetcar. Numerous organizations along the corridor have passed resolutions in support of our turf track Streetcar vision.
We believe that a Midtown Greenway Streetcar would be good for the Greenway, good for the neighborhoods along the corridor, and good for our city. We hope that this Alternatives Analysis will be the first step towards getting it built!
Metro Transit’s AA study will last until early 2014. For more information from Metro Transit about the Midtown Transitway, click here.
Please contact Rebecca, the Greenway Coalition's Transit Outreach Coordinator, with questions about the Alternatives Analysis: Rebecca@midtowngreenway.org
Streetcars and Economic Development
There is a growing body of research that shows how streetcars can bring economic development to a corridor.
"Portland, OR - From its very inception, the streetcar was seen first and foremost as a redevelopment tool. Its backers organized a nonprofit corporation that built and now operates the line. The corporation is made up of developers, retailers and property owners, as well as city government officials. They have succeeded.
The $55 million streetcar line has sparked over $1.5 billion (and growing) in new development, making it probably the best municipal investment anywhere in recent times. The Pearl District, located along the streetcar line within a designated redevelopment site, is the nation’s most successful new urban residential and retail neighborhood. It’s now common to see residents walk out of their $500,000 Pearl District condominiums and catch the streetcar downtown to shop, to the airport, or to attend class at Portland State University. The condominiums would not have existed but for the streetcar, and the streetcar would not have been there but for the condominiums.
Tampa, FL - In Tampa, its 2.5 mile line has stimulated over $600 million in public projects, and a correspondingly robust $700 million in private projects. The path of the streetcar line has awakened the Channelside District, a former industrial area near the port, and it has served to reenergize Ybor City, Tampa’s historic Cuban quarter. Channelside is now converting warehouses to lofts, and new mixed use projects, including high rise residential towers, are announced almost daily. For the first time in over a century, close-in downtown housing is appearing. Mixed use and entertainment venues are providing exciting destinations that complement the Florida Aquarium, the Cruise Port, and the Convention Center. Centro Ybor, a mixed use entertainment center, straddles the streetcar line, connecting it to the other tourist venues."
LA Streetcar economic study