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Public Documents and My Experience

I found the LRT priority handbook on the Stpaul.gov website. The document
has 212 pages and provides thorough information on topics such as project planning, engineering approaches, project design, operation, maintenance, case study summaries, surveys that were done, equipment, etc.

Since the Central Corridor is a hot topic being discussed among St. Paul city council members the handbook was easy to access. The problems that I had was reading the jargon which is in the handbook. Most of the terminology was influenced by engineering and transit jargon, which I have to clue about. So overall I do not know how useful this handbook will be. It has a lot of information, but also a lot of jargon. I could sort out all the jargon, but this may be very time consuming.

On the other hand, for starting out I think this document will be more helpful than a city
council agenda meeting. The document is very cut and dry but also explains its agenda ( this will allow me find my own controversy on the LRT topic or catch something new).

Comments

Thanks for the great discussion. Yes, for sure -- the Internet makes it easy.

I'm sure this document is a good introduction to the subject. It is inferior to a council packet in one regard: It probably represents just one view, since it was probably prepared by a department of the mayoral administration, whose opinion on the value of LRT surely had an influence on what was included in or excluded from the document and the tone.

A council agenda packet, on the other hand, may include contradicting documents, letters from dissatisfied constituents, letters between the council and administrative departments, opposing draft ordinances, etc.