Initiatives and Programs
Since late 2009, University UNITED has
been focused on helping create development plans and implementation strategies.
More can be found at www.prioruniversitydevelopment.com.
UNITED has organized a number of programs and collaborations including:
Appeals Walgreens/ Big Top Liquor Project
has appealed the proposed Walgreens/ Big Top Liquor project at Snelling and University
after it had received approval from the St. Paul Planning Commission. The appeal
is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers.
The public is invited to attend and voice support for our efforts.
have appealed because the proposed buildings are not sited adjacent to the road
grid called for in the Central Corridor Development Strategy, and because they
are not pedestrian friendly. We believe that no project should be built that conflicts
with the vision for University Avenue, as we are in the final stages of planning
for light rail. We should be building in incremental steps towards the vision,
not building projects that will have to be demolished at a later time in order
to carry out the vision.
As with every appeal we have done, we do
not just oppose we offer alternative ways to build a project. These alternative
options allow for the program needs of the developer, but also meet the community
goals for transit-oriented development. Attached is our alternative plan created
by Adam Maleitzke, Manager of U-PLAN, with input from the community. We will continue
to post additional information about this appeal at www.universityunited.com."
here for City Council Walgreens Letter
here for Walgreens Workshop Summary
here to print out Walgreens Handout
here to view Walgreens Handout
Tax Task Force
Take Property Tax Survey
Taxes are right up there among popular topics of conversation around the proverbial
water cooler. We invite you to respond to an online survey that we have posted
This survey should take no more than a few minutes.
Wedenesday, November 1st
Financing Our Government Services
2: How Land Use Impacts Tax Revenue
3: University vs Other Commercial Corridors
4: Changes in Property Value
5: Properties Exempt from Property Tax
U-PLAN Community Planning Studio
Opened December 6
U-PLAN Community Planning Studio
Ave. W. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104
(651) 641-0293 www.u-plan.org
is a collaborative, community based resource that facilitates planning and design
efforts at the grassroots level. It offers a variety of technical support services
to community organizations and small businesses, and includes computer work stations
fully equipped with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, AutoCad and
SketchUp architectural graphics, Google Earth, PhotoShop and other state-of-the-art
visioning and design tools, as well as a large format color printer that can generate
maps and graphics. The storefront studio is also be available for design charrettes
and smaller planning sessions. For additional information call (651) 641-0293
or visit www.u-plan.org.
available online for requesting services from U-Plan)
Interim Transit-Oriented Zoning Overlay
Lexington TOD Timeline
Process on Overlay District
District Case Studies
Density and Floor to Area Ratio (FAR) Matrix
Approval of Project
Article: Target Hits Snag
Pioneer Press Op Ed Articles
PP Article Layover
Pioneer Press Scoop
Lex Ham Appeal
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Centers Retail Initiatives |
Upgrading retail in the Midway is a very
high priority of University UNITED. In 2002, we analyzed the potential of the
three adjoining retail centers including the Midway Center, Midway Marketplace,
and Target. See Midway Centers
Report. We concluded that the centers were operating at a level far below
their potential, given their central location and excellent transportation service.
We noted that the trade areas and demographics of the Midway are essentially the
same as Rosedale Shopping Center, which is considerably out-performing the Midway
centers. At that time, we made a number of recommendations as to how to the Midway
could be repositioned to perform better.
The key was to have the three adjoining centers working cooperatively
and be managed more as a traditional mall. We were not successful in having the
city or the property owners accept our recommendations at that time, but we recently
decided to raise this issue again, as circumstances appear to be more favorable.
We recently created an on-line shoppers survey which attracted considerable response.
See Retail Survey Results,
and Retail Survey Narrative
Responses. A community meeting was held on January 27, 2005 to unveil the
results of our retail survey, and to start organizing a network of community residents
who would meet with merchants and property owners.
In addition to organizing
the hundreds of residents who expressed an interest in this issue, we have also
been working to organize the merchants by creating a new retailers group. The
first meeting of the University Avenue Merchants Association (UAMA), was held
on March 15, 2005. Featured speaker, Commander Tom Smith, announced that the St.
Paul Police will be installing a new Sub-station in the Midway Center this summer.
(See the UAMA section of our web site below.) Our second UAMA meeting is scheduled
for June 2nd, at 8:00 AM at the Midway FourPoints Sheraton Hotel. Mayor Randy
Kelly and PED Director Susan Kimberly will be discussing their commercial corridor
initiative. To help organize the merchants association, UNITED has offered to
fund a part time consultant who will function independently from University UNITED.
After the merchants are organized, efforts will be made to have them meet with
residents and customers.
In the meantime, we are increasingly concerned
that redevelopment of the retail centers may occur without benefit of a planning
process or the involvement of the community. It is widely known that the City
has been talking with Best Buy and Home Depot, and perhaps others, about locating
a big box store on the pile of dirt formerly known as the bus barn, at Snelling
and I-94. We have expressed our concerns to the city, and requested that a planning
study - with community input - be done before any further developments are proposed.
In addition, we have requested that the Met Council, current owners of the property,
insure that all future development meet the criteria of Transit-Oriented Development.
In addition to these organizing efforts, we continue to research "best
practices" of successful urban retail centers from around the country. We
are posting on our website a summary of this research, starting with a fascinating
mixed-use project from Dallas which features a circulating trolley. See
History Repeats Itself: Prior Studies of the Midway
YOUniversity Avenue Plan, 1982
work analyzing the Midway shopping centers parallels a number of efforts that
have been made over the years. In 1982, the Department of Planning and Economic
Development in a planning study entitled, YOUniversity Avenue, noted a
"Lack of Commercial Direction", as "Competition from shopping centers
outside the study area has drawn customers away from local businesses." It
also decried the lack of family entertainment, such as movie theaters, in the
Midway area. Among its recommendations was a call for the "relocation of
the MTC garage at Snelling and St. Anthony for a Planned Development of parking,
commercial, office, and residential/ mixed use."
Another effort, in 1995, examined attitudes of customers
and residents towards the Midway centers. It was a joint project of the Hamline
Midway Coalition, the Safe Cities Initiative, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The following questions were asked, "Is the Midway Shopping Center Safe?
Is there a perception that it is unsafe? Do community residents who shop and hang
out at the center of University and Snelling treat each other with respect? What
can businesses, customers and community residents do to improve its image as a
safe and welcoming place?"
A major article in the Pioneer Press on
October 30, 1995 described a meeting attended by 43 people from various generations,
races and walks of life who lived or worked in the Midway area who met to discuss
these questions. By the end of the 5 ½ hour dialogue, the group made a
number of recommendations including:
- Make the center's appearance
friendlier and more inviting, improve traffic flow and add visible, positive activities
- Add a well-maintained green space and bright lighting that
is warm but unobtrusive.
- Create more organized activities for young people.
the area and enhance the facades of existing buildings.
- Stage kiddie fairs,
basketball tournaments and photo exhibits in open space outside the center.
the bus service.
- Develop a water park lined with trees and benches to
connect the center, the new Montgomery Ward store and Cub foods.
more mom-and-pop businesses.
- Improve parking for elderly and handicapped
Midway Center Master Plan done by RD Management, 1998
Management, owners of the Midway Center, commissioned the Architectural Alliance
to do a plan for a mixed-use development proposal. Their plan included a mid-rise
office building, a hotel, a movie theater, restaurants, retail, structured parking,
a transit hub, and the creation of internal streets and landscaping. It envisioned
the redevelopment of the former bus barn site and the adjacent parcel on the southern
edge of the shopping center. Unfortunately, the plan was not implemented at that
time. The recent recommendations of University UNITED are very closely aligned
to the underlying concepts of this plan.
University Avenue Merchants
The University Avenue Merchants (UAMA)
Association was established in March 2005, with initial organizational support
provided by University UNITED. Most commercial corridors such as White Bear Avenue,
Grand Avenue, Snelling Avenue, have merchants groups, and it is envisioned that
UAMA will operate with similar success. At the first UAMA meeting held
on March 15, 2005, Commander Tom Smith announced his intention to install a new
Police Sub-station in the Midway Center this summer. Merchants also discussed
the goals of the group and organizational strategies. University UNITED offered
to fund a part time consultant who would be hired by the merchants and working
directly for them.
Mayor Kelly at June 2 UAMA Meeting
UAMA meeting will be held on Thursday, June 2 at 8:00 AM at the Midway FourPoints
Sheraton Hotel. Mayor Randy Kelly and PED Director Susan Kimberly will be the
Draft Work Plan of UAMA
an organizational structure, elect officers, and hire part time consultant
with City, Police Department and community to improve security in and around the
shopping areas. Install a Police Substation
- Work with local community
groups on seeking City STAR funding to create a façade improvement program
on buildings surrounding the shopping area
- Create a University Avenue
Merchants Association website
- Work with the University of St. Thomas,
Center for Retail Excellence, on a market study designed to attract more college
- Work with the newly formed Community Retail Advisory
Group, consisting of over 100 residents from the surrounding neighborhoods, to
explore ways to promote closer ties between the merchants and the community
ways to more closely integrate and market the three contiguous shopping areas:
Midway Center, Midway marketplace and Target
- Work with the City and local
community groups on ways to improve transportation access to area, including transit,
car, pedestrian and bicycle access
- Explore possibility of establishing
a Business Improvement District, or a Special Services District as a means to
provide enhanced security, maintenance and beautification
- Explore possibility
of creating special events and seasonal programming at the shopping centers, and
cooperative advertising and marketing campaigns. Explore possibility of discounted
rates at local community newspapers. Explore possibility of distributing advertising
flyers through mailings of community organizations.
Retail Centers from Around the Country
Uptown is a mixed-use complex just north of downtown Dallas
featuring apartments, townhomes, restaurants, galleries, and upscale shops. Less
than two decades earlier, the area was a crime-ridden collection of vacant car
lots, rundown houses and old warehouses. Speculators bought and cleared the land
in the 1980s for office development, but their hopes were dashed when the real
estate market collapsed. This opened the door for housing development. Columbus
Realty Trust (now Post Properties) bought eight properties with plans to build
apartments, lofts and townhomes, and in 1988 formed a partnership with the city
of Dallas to revitalize the area. The city created a TIF District and made significant
infrastructure improvements. Columbus Realty launched its Uptown project with
a 132-unit luxury apartment complex derided as folly by Dallas's real estate community.
However, within weeks every unit was leased, and the next three residential projects
were equally successful. In 1993, the Dallas City Council approved the creation
of the Uptown Public Improvement District, in which property owners pay a special
assessment to cover varied improvements throughout the district. Funds have been
devoted to security, special events, and capital improvements, including sidewalks,
street lighting, and small public parks.
Other developers took notice, resulting
in a wave of investment. Businesses flourished, and by 1998 there were 56 restaurants
in the 128-block area, and a variety of other stores. The City's only trolley
line runs throughout the area. More than 5,000 people currently live in Uptown,
and about 13,000 people work there.
Back to top
Interior - worker
here to view Minnesota Legislative Report 2006
here to view report for the Ford Building project.
here to view a statement by Royce Yeater, Midwest Director for the National
Trust for Historic Preservation.
here to read a two-page summary of the history of the Ford Building at 117
here to view UNITED's press release regarding the community forum on the Ford
here to view transcribed historical articles about the construction of the
to view a bill recently filed in the Minnesota House of Representatives to prevent
the unnecessary demolition of the building.
CVS Drugstore |
CVS, a national drugstore chain, has recently decided
to enter the Twin Cities market. The original proposal for their first location
in St. Paul, at Snelling and University, did not fit into this urban neighborhood,
was contrary to the design principles of all recent community-based planning studies
(in particular the principles of transit-oriented development (TOD), and did not
meet the standards of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The
Board of University UNITED adopted a strong resolution in November, 2003 in opposition
to the original proposal. Click
here to view resolution.
UNITED developed a document comparing the CVS
store as originally proposed to Metropolitan Council Transit-Oriented Development
(TOD) Guidelines (click here
On December 30th, 2003,
UNITED and many community partners co-sponsored a design charrette to develop
creative ideas for an urban, Twin Cities CVS store design that would be desirable
to the community and consistent with community plans and the principles of transit-oriented
development. The charrette was attended by more than 55 community stakeholders
from St. Paul, Minneapolis, and beyond, and the resulting drawings can be viewed
below. Click here to view
an open letter to Twin Cities community organizations regarding the charrette.
University UNITED, Hamline-Midway Coalition and other neighborhood
groups met with CVS's local developer and attorney on several occasions in November,
December, and January, expressing our concerns. Time after time, we were told
that they would not make significant design changes. Velmeir did agree to add
some windows on the University Avenue façade, though the windows at eye-level
would be "spandrel" (non-transparent) glass.
Despite 24 people
speaking in opposition to and only two in favor of the proposed CVS site plan,
the St. Paul Planning Commission approved the revised site plan on a vote of 9-3
on February 27th, 2004.
On Monday, March 15, UNITED's board unanimously
passed a second resolution (click
here to view) to appeal the City Planning Commission decision to approve the
site plan for CVS. As the appeal costs $415, UNITED asked our community partners
to make small contributions toward the effort. As of March 18th, UNITED has raised
more than $800, in donations ranging from $10-$200, from neighbors, area businesses,
and concerned citizens from throughout the region. Click
here to read the text of the written appeal.
here to view a press release regarding UNITED's appeal of the CVS Site Plan
and a March 23rd Community Meeting.
Velmeir Companies, CVS's local developer,
made some minor improvements to the store design in hopes of avoiding the appeal.
University UNITED scheduled a community meeting to let community stakeholders
decide whether the changes had gone far enough toward meeting community concerns
and needs. UNITED pledged that if the majority opinion was that the design is
good enough, we would withdraw the appeal.
On May 5, 2004 Velmeir Companies
proposed the following amended University Avenue facade, which was approved by
City Council that day.
While the final design lacks a door on University Avenue and
has some architectural inconsistencies, it does contain many of the elements that
UNITED and the community had asked for. The final approved City Council resolution
does include a provision that if LRT is constructed on University Avenue, Velmeir
would add a University Avenue entranceway.
The image below is a proposed
project at Hennepin and 12th in Minneapolis adapting an historic building, with
CVS Pharmacy on the street level and 20 units of owner-occupied housing on the
The following images are an example of what a TOD development would
look like on the CVS site and some additional adjacent parcels. This is a schematic
only, and the design specifically maintains and incorporates the Turf Club and
Frumos!, and the existing 2-story building 1/2 block west of Snelling:
|Images above by Bob Lunning -- Hokanson, Lunning,
Site of the Proposed
corner of the Intersection
corner of the intersection
The renderings below were
created by Hay/Dobbs architects as part of the North Snelling Revitalization Study
process facilitated by Hamline Midway Coalition.
A CVS Store in Cape
store in Baltimore, MD
Courtesy of Lee S. Sobel
of Andrew Consigli
Imai Keller Moore Architects
CVS store images courtesy of Caleb Racicot Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh, & Associates
(photos above & below)
| || |
CVS #1206, Newbury Street,
around the Country|
Images below gathered for University UNITED by CharretteCenter.com
Beacon Hill, Boston
51st and France, MN
St Louis Park Excelsior Grand,
Old Town Alexandria
63rd and Brookside, DC Area
image is from Urban Land Magazine's Multifamily Trends,|
| || |
| || ||
|Mixed-use development with Walgreens
as anchor, Cincinnati||Historical image
of Snelling & University|
Courtesy of MN Historical
Images are copyrighted
by the providers and cannot be used without permission.
University/Dale Mixed-Use Library
A coalition of community groups
has been working to redevelop the southwest corner of University Avenue and Dale
Street for many years, since the Faust Theatre was demolished in the mid 90's.
Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Kelly, the Lexington Branch library will be
relocating to this important site in a new mixed-use development that will include
some retail, 100 new housing units, and a combination of underground and structured
Back to top
Community Meeting on December 8 - see
Background of Dickerman Park
Park is a linear green space on the north side of University Avenue in St. Paul,
between Fairview Avenue and Aldine Street. It was donated to the City in 1909
by the Dickerman Investment Company and Griggs, Cooper and Company at a time when
University Avenue was envisioned to become a grand landscaped boulevard. Because
it has the appearance of private property, many people in the surrounding community
are unaware that this plot of land is a City-owned park. It abuts the Griggs Midway
Building; Midway Family YMCA; Metro Sound and Lighting; Community Learning Centers
Building; and Marsden Maintenance/American Security.
Beginning in 2002,
the Friends of the Parks and Trails of Saint Paul and Ramsey County initiated
a series of meetings with residents and community groups in the area regarding
the future of the park. This informal working group researched the history of
the park, and related legal issues as to its ownership and management over the
years. In the summer of 2003, the group requested that University UNITED convene
a more formal community process to develop a consensus vision for the future of
the park. A Dickerman Park Task Force was organized by University UNITED,
which included the following property owners, and community representatives:
Park Task Force
Joe Spencer, Hamline Midway Coalition
Mary Maguire, Merriam Park Community Council
Mark Thieroff, Merriam Park Community
Council and Hamline Midway Coalition
Truman Porter, Friends of Parks and Trails
of St. Paul and Ramsey County
Jeanne Weigum, Friends of Parks and Trails of
St. Paul and Ramsey County
Bob Straughn, Midway Chamber of Commerce
McClung, Griggs Midway Building
Jim Coggins, Charter School Building
Fischer, Metro Sound and Lighting
David Dominick, Midway Family YMCA
Brown, Family Learning Center Charter School
Mary Marsden, Marsden Maintenance
Brian Becker, Goodwill/ Easter Seals
Bob Bierscheid, St. Paul Parks and Recreation
Jane Prince, Councilmember Jay Benanav's Office
Christine Podas-Larson, Public
Art Saint Paul
Brian McMahon, University UNITED
St. Paul on the Mississippi Decign Center
Design Center for the American Urban Landscape
Art Saint Paul
Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County
St. Paul Department of Parks and Recreation
St. Paul Department of Planning
and Economic Development
St. Paul Department of Public Works
Regional Rail Authority
The Dickerman Park Task Force
identified key issues that needed to be addressed in the redesign and redevelopment
of the park, including: design elements that would make Dickerman look and feel
like a park, and a conceptual plan for meeting the parking needs of the adjacent
properties. (A portion of the Park is now being used as a parking lot for the
Griggs Midway Building.) The Task Force sponsored a design charrette on November
20, 2003 to brainstorm design/development concepts for Dickerman Park. It was
open to the community and drew broad participation from a variety of interested
parties including Kent Dickerman, a descendent of the family that donated the
land. Kent and Ariel Dickerman were so pleased with the renewed interest in the
park they offered to help raise funds to complete a professional planning study.
Through their efforts over $45,000 has been raised from Dickerman family members
around the country. In addition, Councilmember Jay Benanav and the Star Board
have recommended that $30,000 in Neighborhood Star Grant funds be made available
for a demonstration project. To view the Resolution of the Dickerman Park Task
Force, click here. The Task Force
also made a presentation to the Departments of Parks and Recreation Department
and Planning on February 11, 2004. The Commission approved a resolution recognizing
the work of the Dickerman Park Task Force and added the project to its 2004 Action
Plan. To view this resolution, click
Selection of Planning Consultants
The planning study is expected to
be completed by August, 2005. It is anticipated that a smaller $25,000 demonstration
project will be completed by the end of the year. The total budget for rehabilitating
the Park will await the final plan, but is expected to run approximately $1.5
Dickerman Park Task Force recently selected the landscape architectural firm of
Coen and Partners and public artist Wing Young Huie to develop a
design plan for the Park. |
Background of Consultants
and Partners is a nationally acclaimed landscape architecture and planning
firm based in Minneapolis. Founded in 1991, the firm is noted for its innovative
design work, including such projects as Jackson Meadow, Mayo Woodlands, Franconia
Sculpture Park, and the Minneapolis Public Library. In 2004, Coen and Partners
won the prestigious American Society of Landscape Architects National Award. Their
website is www.coenpartners.com.
Young Huie is an award-winning photographer who has exhibited locally and
nationally. In 2002 the Minneapolis Star Tribune named him the Artist of the Year,
and he received the Ordway Center's prestigious "Sally" award for artistic
vision. His photographs were featured in a one-man show in 2004 in the Minnesota
Museum of American Art, and are in the permanent collection of the Walker Art
Center, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, the Minnesota Historical Society
and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His website is www.wingyounghuie.com.
To oversee the management of the Dickerman Park
project, the Task Force created a smaller Management Team consisting of Peggy
Lynch (Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County); Mary Marsden
(Marsden Maintenance) and David Dominick (YMCA), representing the adjoining property
owners; Jun-li Wang (Hamline Midway Coalition); Tim Agness (St. Paul Parks); and
Brian McMahon (University UNITED), who will function as Project Manager.
technical assistance is being provided by Tim Griffin of the St. Paul Design Center,
and Christine Podas Larson of Public Art Saint Paul.
As part of the design
process, there will be community meetings open to the public. In addition, we
will post on this website updates of the work as we proceed.
Dickerman Family Contribution
Wednesday March 16, 2005, the St. Paul City Council acknowledged the generosity
of the Dickerman Family, represented by Ariel and Kent Dickerman. Councilmember
Jay Benanav noted, "This project is an outstanding example of how the public
and private sectors can work together to create a very special gathering place
for the community."
Council Resolution Presented to Kent and Ariel Dickerman on March 16, 2005|
"WHEREAS, Dickerman Park is a 2.6 acre linear park on University
Avenue between Fairview and Aldine, and
WHEREAS, Dickerman Park was donated
to the City of Saint Paul in 1909, by the Dickerman Investment Company, and Griggs,
Cooper and Company, and
WHEREAS, Dickerman Park has not been widely recognized
as a city park because it fronts six commercial properties and has the appearance
of private property, and
WHEREAS, a community process was initiated by the
Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County to make the park
more distinct, attractive, recognizable and usable to the public, and
the community enthusiastically participated in a design charrette in February
2004 - sponsored by University United, and facilitated by the Saint Paul on the
Mississippi Design Center, the Design Center for the American Urban Landscape
at the University of Minnesota, Public Art Saint Paul, and Saint Paul Parks and
Recreation - which envisioned an inviting open space to be enjoyed by Midway workers
and neighbors, and
WHEREAS, news coverage of the charrette attracted the
attention and support of Kent and Ariel Dickerman, residents of Saint Paul and
descendants of the family that donated the property to the City, and
Kent Dickerman, working with Dickerman family members around the country, have
raised $45,000 for the purpose of completing a design for the redevelopment of
Dickerman Park; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the City of Saint Paul, expresses
sincere gratitude and appreciation to Kent and Ariel Dickerman, and all the Dickerman
family members, for their civic spirit and generous support of the revitalization
of what will become an important Saint Paul Midway landmark, Dickerman Park."
Aerial views of Dickerman
Historical Context of
Brown & Blodgett
Historical image of Dickerman Park
of MN Historical Society
STAR Crime Prevention Through Environmental
UNITED is wrapping up this 2-year program through
which nearly 20 property owners have received matching grant and loan monies for
capital improvements that are consistent with the principles of Crime Prevention
Through Environmental Design (CPTED). This program has helped to spruce up University
Avenue while also making the properties in question more secure. The project has
been funded through City of St. Paul STAR monies, which come from St. Paul's ½%
sales tax. While the grant monies have all been used, UNITED is still revolving
matching low-interest loan monies at an interest rate of 5%. Projects have included:
A complete facelift of
Marty's Second Hand Store:
| || ||
New exterior security
lighting at Old Home Foods
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University UNITED works with its member organizations,
the St. Paul Police Department, small business owners, and other area stakeholders
to prevent crime in the University Avenue Corridor and change the perception of
the Corridor as "crime-ridden." Among other projects in 2002, UNITED has partnered
with Episcopal Homes to sponsor "Brownbags in Iris Park," an effort to get nearby
office workers and residents to use Iris Park more in order to make the park an
uncomfortable place for the drug dealers who have used it regularly in recent
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Rail Transit on University Avenue
At its October 21st board meeting,
University UNITED adopted a resolution supporting the construction of light rail
transit on University Avenue and some form of financial mitigation for the impact
that construction of LRT would have on University Avenue property owners. Click
on Resolution to view the resolution in its entirety. The Central Corridor
Coordinating Committee (CCCC) is an inter-agency committee with representatives
from Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, St. Paul and Minneapolis, MNDOT, the Metropolitan
Council, and the University of Minnesota. CCCC has been working since 2000 to
study transit alternatives for the Central Corridor, and to make a recommendation
of the locally preferred alternative. The Central Corridor is the area between
downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, including the University of Minnesota
Twin Cities Campus. Major transportation arteries include Interstate 94 and University
Avenue. Stretching 11 miles, the area is known for its many strong neighborhoods,
institutions, businesses and attractions.
As of June 2002, the preliminary
recommendation of the CCCC is to construct Light Rail Transit (LRT) down the middle
of University Avenue, connecting downtown St. Paul with Downtown Minneapolis,
through the University of Minnesota. Currently, the Committee is accepting public
comment on this preliminary recommendation, before making a final recommendation
around the end of 2002 or beginning of 2003. The other options being considered
include Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and "no build." Another body is reviewing
a set of alternatives for commuter rail through the Central Corridor that would
likely utilize one of the existing freight railways.