Transportation planning key to strategic growth

Smart growth means anticipating what lies ahead, and that’s exactly what local leaders did at the recent DMC Transportation Work Session.

Members of the DMC Corporation Board of Directors, the DMC Economic Development Agency (EDA) Board of Directors, the Rochester City Council, and the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners came together with nearly 40 community members for a highly-engaged exchange of information about the future of transportation for Rochester.

The Integrated Transit Studies presented at the workshop included seven scenarios, which combined parking, transit, biking, and street use strategies. Board members discussed staff recommendations to reduce these to three scenarios for future studies. They also expressed appreciation for the progress, pace, and clarity of the transportation-related work taking place. Members were also interested in seeing a model that will provide optimal solutions for each of the key ridership markets.

“We recognize the importance of flexibility and need to remain future-oriented,” said Patrick Seeb, DMC EDA director of economic development and placemaking. Seeb expressed appreciation for the advice and insights from the members of the various boards.

“A sustainable, comprehensive transportation plan is essential to the success of DMC. Today, we had a valuable discussion about Rochester’s needs, now and in the future,” said Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, chair of the DMCC Board. “We looked closely at design options, with the goal of making transportation work for people in the DMC district and throughout Rochester and the region.”

The goal of the studies is to ensure that the scenario selected makes transportation in Rochester more convenient for all who live, work, and play in the community. Commuters will find they have more parking and transportation options as they travel to and from their place of business. Patients and employees will welcome the increased connectivity between the St Marys campus and the downtown Mayo Clinic campus. Residents will benefit from easier access to and from the downtown business district, shops, and restaurants.

The group anticipates narrowing the scenarios and submitting a recommendation by the end of September 2017.