The future of transportation: A public conversation

Efficient downtown transportation is essential to the success of the DMC Development Plan, and local residents are being asked to help drive the future of this important component.

Integrated Transit Studies being conducted

The city of Rochester is conducting four integrated transit studies to support and advance DMC’s plan. On January 24, study consultants will host the first of four public conversations to share their findings and listen to the thoughts of attendees on transportation in downtown.

Richard Freese is the director of the city’s Public Works Department and feels that Rochester is a unique city requiring a unique approach to travel demand management. “Since the invention of the automobile, cities around the world have tried unsuccessfully to build their way out of traffic congestion by building more or wider roads,” Freese says.

Rochester is taking a different approach.

“Based on best practices and lessons learned from other cities,” says Freese, “we are building a multi-modal transportation system that will be integrated, coordinated, and sustainable for decades to come.”

In addition to the public input sessions, consultants will also be connecting to neighborhood groups, city advisory committees, business organizations, and community groups during the process.

“Public participation will help us better understand what community members feel is needed as we design a comprehensive transportation system,” says Ken Holte, project manager with SRF Consulting Group, Inc., who was hired to work alongside the city of Rochester to manage the delivery of the transportation and infrastructure recommendations for the DMC vision.

The transportation system will play a critical role in urban development and must be sustainable long-term. “It should provide safe and convenient access for people to get to work, receive health care and education, and access retail markets, recreation, and entertainment,” says Freese.

Transportation goals include moving 23-30% of the workforce downtown via transit by 2035, connecting downtown districts with a circulator, and creating a world-class place for regional transit arrival and departure.

Patrick Seeb, DMC’s director of economic development and placemaking believes public input will help to ensure the development of a transportation system that best serves everyone. “Broad community perspective on transportation ideas and alternatives is critical to achieving a modal shift from cars to transit, walking, and bicycling,” says Seeb.

The first of the public conversations will take place on Tuesday, January 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. on the fourth floor of the University of Minnesota Rochester (111 South Broadway). 

Upcoming Integrated Transit Study Open House Dates

January 24, 2017 | Provide your perspective on downtown transportation needs, potential concerns, and alternatives to be studied further

May 2017 | Provide feedback on the initial alternatives and which should be retained for final study

September 2017 | Voice your opinion on which of these options should be selected

December 2017 | Explore the preferred option, how/when the elements will be built, and provide feedback