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 Response Page - Elwyn Tinklenberg Interview - Using Transportation to Guide Development   

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Elwyn Tinklenberg interview of 05-09-08.

The questions:

1._6.2 average___ On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, should transportation policy be geared to encouraging new forms of development, such as mixed-use urban villages?

2. _7.3 average___ On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, should owners of such developments be required to share the costs of transit or highway improvements that benefit them?

Jim Hetland (1) (9)

Bright Dornblaser (8) (10)

Paul and Ruth Hauge (9) (8)

Scott Halstead (0) (10)
Good Transit/Transportation systems will draw developers because employers and employees will want accessibility especially with the high cost of fuel/energy. Transit and transportation projects financed with transit funds need to meet the needs of the travelers. Development and other purposes are secondary. If they are primary, show me their $!

Connie Morrison (2) (10)

Charles Lutz (8) (8)

Eric Schubert (10) (10)
We should have a "lifespan community development strategy," as we face an unprecedented age wave, otherwise we're going to have a lot of people living on isolated islands. Other communities are already taking a much more holistic view of these demographic changes, such as Atlanta's Regional Commission initiative called Aging Atlanta. They see the demographic changes as an economic development opportunity by making it possible for people to live in their communities for a lifetime.

John R. Finnegan, Sr. (10) (10)
I think development and transportation policies should be coordinated to insure that development takes place concomitant with extension of highways and rail lines.
And developers should help pay for such extensions. It was too bad that a
Metropolitan Planning Commission idea discussed in the 1950s that suburban
development be encouraged along new light rail lines was not adopted. There was too much opposition from municipalities and developers at the time. It is not too late to adopt that idea now.

Al Quie (0) (0)

David Broden (7) (7)
It is interesting to see that some people recognize that transportation including movement of people and commerce is influenced by transportation routes--look at sea lanes, rivers, and the opening of the west and the US --where did cities and towns evolve--along the routes defined by James J Hill and other who built the railroads. While we must be careful in letting the development of some areas drive the transportation or vice versa the link in the two topics must and should be well coordinated. This can happen with reasonable people involved in a meaningful discussion that has some well defined metrics etc. Bottom line is that transportation may not always to the stimulus for new development but new developments may be the stimulus for transportation--link the two and set priorities together--this can work and will help to move people across regions and around the central hub --like from Maple Grove to Bloomington etc.

Sharing cost can take many forms--local area taxes, special local fees, user fees, etc. The local areas can and should definitely share in the cost of the stations and entry and exit environments. The routes in the areas should be fully coordinated and planned in the zoning to avoid unneeded conflict. Transportation needs to be looked at however as a common purpose and common good topics and not be specific cost of the people in the area--if the link to the areas serves only those in a limited area then perhaps the mode of transportation is not appropriate or needed in the areas and the priorities are not correct. If on the other hand a specific developer will fund a spur etc. from a main line to a new development then that should be allowed but cost locked and firm to that developer etc. for a long term period.

Glenn S. Dorfman (8) (5)
They already do pay through city fees, development agreements, road access charges. Since end users often pay these charges, does this policy conflict with affordable housing as a public policy goal?

Wayne Jennings (8) (4)
I’d have to think more about question 2. I’m uncertain without further information on related factors.

Alan Miller (10) (8)

Dan McElroy
There needs to be discussion of "development" both in design terms and as economic development, job creation and job value enhancement. In other words, can transportation improve access to better paid jobs for workers and more employees for employers? Are transit and highways more alike than different in this context or more different than alike? Should there be a seat at the transportation planning table for economic development?

Keith Swenson (0) (0)
There is already way to much control of land use for housing in the Metro that has driven the cost of land to the point where only the big National Builders can compete.

Roger Heegaard (4) (4)

Donna Anderson (9) (10)

Ed Dirkswager (10) (7)

Bob Brown (8) (8)
As Yogi Berra would say this is déjà vu all over again. Minneapolis developed along the street car lines in what would now be called “mixed use urban villages.” Having transportation planning integrated with other planning (not dictating, but coordinating with business, education, and recreational planning) makes sense and will lead to economically integrated communities which should help deal with some of our current problems such as concentration of poverty. Government policies in the past (massive low income housing projects, bureaucratic regulations that pushed private developers out of the more urban areas into low cost, loosely regulated rural areas, etc.) have created many of our current problems.
Having statewide transportation planning along with other planning centered in the office of Governor is good and could provide a way for government policy to help solve problems rather than create them. The Governor’s office should have adequate planning staff to provide thoughtful, comprehensive leadership. Tinklenberg did not have to worry about this since he worked for a Governor who was not interested in public policy, only in personal promotion.
Tinklenberg’s hub and spoke light rail sound a lot like Professor Anderson’s PRT proposal of the 1960s. Too bad we didn’t do things earlier when purchase of right-of-way would have been simpler and far less costly. Even today, with a comprehensive plan, it would make sense to bond to purchase the land or easements necessary for a comprehensive transportation plan in the urban and urbanizing areas. The plan should be such that it could be continued further out as the metropolitan area expands. When we first talked of metropolitan solutions to some of our government problems we focused on a five county SMSA (economically integrated metro area by fed definition) and I believe we now have a 12 county SMA.
I think all parties involved, including developers and transportation users, should help pay for transportation infrastructure. This could include toll roads.
I am opposed to constitutionally dedicated taxes for any governmental function. The legislature should have the ability to allocate money as needed. I also strongly oppose earmarks – money should be spent for the greatest needs, not the greatest political influence.

Shirley Heaton (10) (10)

Lyall Schwarzkopf (5) (8)
Owners of the development will pass the cost onto the consumer, but there should be some cost for the new development.

Carolyn Ring (4) (7)

Larry Schluter (5) (8)
I have very mixed feelings whether the transportation policy should be involved in development policy rather than basic transportation.



The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  Lee Canning,  Charles Clay, Bill Frenzel, 
Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and  John Rollwagen.  

The Civic Caucus, 05-27-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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