Humphrey graduate students proposed strategies for three transit stations and a corridor-wide approach for bike and pedestrian connections for the proposed Gateway Corridor transitway for a capstone workshop taught by Lee Munnich and Lyssa Leitner. The team projects were completed and presented to clients from the cities of St. Paul, Maplewood and Oakdale, and Washington County.
Mounds Boulevard Station: Public Realm Upgrades for Bicyclists and Pedestrians by Brian Deppe, Robert Edstrom, Ashley James, Brent Oltz, and Jesse Williams
Maplewood 3M Station Report by Aubrey Austin, Lisa Elliott, Jennifer Melin Miller, and Jill Smith
OakCommons: StationAreaPlan by Andrew Freerks, Kristen Mason, Aaron Meyers, Kylie Patterson, and Vincent Vu
Gateway Corridor: Non-Motorized Connections to the Transitway by Nicole Campbell, Jeremy Jenkins, Timothy Santiago, and Josie Warren
Major studies on transportation finance and investment have been released recently by the Itasca Group, Counties Transit Investment Board, and Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The Chambers of Commerce from Minneapolis and St. Paul hosted a discussion on the results of these studies, on public attitudes toward transit funding, and on legislative responses.
Laurie McGinnis, Director, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota
Major recent studies and their implications for the region
Moderated by Lee Munnich, Director, State and Local Policy Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
On September 25th the Humphrey School hosted a forum on "Regional Innovation Clusters and Economic Competitiveness: Lessons Learned from Regional Cluster Initiatives." This forum featured presentations and lessons learned from regional innovation cluster initiatives in Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, and Puebla, Mexico. Speakers also discussed a new web-based Cluster Mapping Tool being developed by the Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness for the U.S. Economic Development Administration and explored job and economic development strategies through state, local and educational policies.
The forum was sponsored by the State and Local Policy Program of the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs with financial support from the University of Minnesota's Metropolitan Consortium. A video of the forum and agenda with links to the presentations, GREATER MSP video and supporting materials follow.
Moderator: Lee Munnich, Senior Fellow and Director, State and Local Policy Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
8:30 am Welcome. Dr. Eric Schwartz, Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
A New Focus on Competitiveness in the Greater MSP Region Michael Langley, CEO, GREATER MSP
- Welcome to GREATER MSP video
8:50 The U.S. Cluster Mapping Project: A Tool for Regional Economic Competitiveness
Richard Bryden, Director of Information Products, Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School
9:10 Regional Cluster Initiatives in the U.S. and Mexico
• Oregon - Elizabeth Redman, Senior Consultant, IHS, for the Oregon Business Council
- Oregon Business Plan Summary Framework (2012)
- Mobilizing Oregon Clusters: Private and Public Partnering for Economic Growth (2012)
• South Carolina - George Fletcher, Executive Director, New Carolina; Neil McLean, Incoming Executive Director, New Carolina
• Puebla, Mexico - Burke Murphy, Sintonia Executive and Faculty, La Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP); Dr. Alfredo Miranda, Rector (President) of UPAEP
10:25 Minnesota Cluster Initiatives
• Regional Cluster Initiative: CEO to CEO Conversations - Matt Schmit, Humphrey School, University of Minnesota
- CEO to CEO Conversations: Mayors Talk with Business Leaders About Growing Jobs in Minnesota (2011)
• Medical devices and life sciences - Jeremy Lenz, BioBusiness Alliance
• Defense and energy industries - Chip Laingen, Defense Alliance
• Robotics - Andrew Borene, Executive Director, Robotics Alley
11:25 Where do we go from here?
• Jim Hovland, Mayor, City of Edina; Co-chair Regional Council of Mayors/ULI
• Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President, Minnesota High Technology Council
• Mark Phillips, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
• Mary Rothchild, Associate Vice Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and University System (MnSCU)
• Dr. Thomas Fisher, Dean, College of Design, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota; Co-chair, University of Minnesota Metropolitan Consortium
12:00 pm Adjourn
For those that were unable to attend the Innovations in Road Safety Forum on August 23, the video is available here
Featured speakers included FHWA Administrator Mendez, Senator Klobuchar and former U.S. Representative Oberstar. Discussion focused on the innovations and improvements for road safety underway in Minnesota.
Please join us for "Innovations in Road Safety," the next Forum hosted by James L. Oberstar. Featured speakers will include Sen. Amy Klobuchar and FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez
Thursday, August 23, 2012
3:00 - 5:00 pm
University Hotel-Minneapolis - Humphrey Ballroom
615 Washington Ave. SE
Road fatalities and serious injuries in the United States are not only tragedies for the families and friends of the victims but also a significant economic cost - both to our nation's health care system and in lost productivity. In recent years, technology and policy innovations have helped to reduce traffic fatalities, and they have the potential to further reduce road deaths in the future.
Former Congressman James L. Oberstar, chair of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 to 2011, will host a forum with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez to discuss innovations in road safety. The event will also highlight U.S. state initiatives, including the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths program, and what they are doing to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Click here to register
James L. Oberstar (host and moderator), Former U.S. Congressman
Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator, Minnesota
Victor Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, USDOT
Tom Sorel, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Tom Horan, Research Director, Center for Excellence in Rural Safety, University of Minnesota
Max Donath, Director, Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, University of Minnesota
Are efforts to improve Minnesota's traffic safety, such as primary seat belt laws, texting bans and similar measures having a positive effect? Well, while simple correlation does not indicate causation, an impressive trend is developing. I just received the following notice:
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety has released its annual summary of traffic crashes, Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2011. According to the report, a total of 368 people died on Minnesota roads in 2011 and 1,159 were seriously injured. This represents a fourth consecutive annual drop in road fatalities and the lowest death count on record since 1944, when 356 were killed.
DPS traffic safety officials say smarter, safer driving is a critical factor for the continuing decline in road deaths. Seat belt compliance is at a record high, and alcohol-impaired crashes have dropped in recent years. DWI arrests have also fallen, indicating that more drivers are thinking twice about drinking and driving. Important legislation has also factored, including the ban on texting and the primary seat belt law.
More detail can be found in the Department of Public Safety's News Release
And those who want to really look into the data can go to the Crash Facts Report
Herbert Mohring, a distinguished transport economist and mentor at the University of Minnesota, passed away at the age of 83 on June 4, 2012. Mohring pioneered the theory of congestion pricing. Here is the argument for congestion pricing in his own words.
HOW TO REDUCE MY COMMUTING TIME (AND YOURS)
By Herbert Mohring
Every adult American has had the unpleasant experience of being stuck in a traffic jam. Our highways seem, at times, to be caught in a dreadful gridlock. Demand for new highways is constantly growing and the search is on for ways of meeting this demand. While the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is not yet as congested as, say Southern California, our traffic problems do seem to be getting worse. What, if anything, can we or should we do about this problem? A favorite of modern day urban planners is to provide alternative modes of transportation such as buses or light rail systems. Such systems require very substantial subsidies with fares typically accounting for less than a quarter of operating expenses. In spite of substantial investments in alternative modes of transportation, public transportation use continues to decline in the United States.
Congestion on roadways is an inevitable consequence of the way we charge travelers. In choosing when and how to travel, every road user takes into account the delays they expect, but nobody considers the delays they impose on others. It is entirely rational and sensible for each user to ignore costs imposed on others. But these costs can be sizable. Think of a congested highway in which cars are traveling bumper to bumper. If we add a car in the middle, we delay all the cars behind that car by the time required for a single car to travel one car length. This is a small cost for each delayed car but it is borne by every automobile that is delayed. In fact, we can roughly estimate the costs imposed on others by adding a single automobile to a congested roadway. This cost is the product of the number of automobiles behind the added automobile and the time required to travel a single car length. Say we think of adding an automobile in the middle of the pack. The time that that automobile takes to reach its destination is the product of the number of cars ahead of it and the amount of time to travel one car length. So, the cumulative delay imposed on others is exactly equal to the travel time of a typical automobile.
Each traveler takes into account the time required to travel for himself or herself but rationally ignores the equal time cost imposed on others. The solution is to confront people with the true costs of travel in congested time periods. Tolls are an obvious way of confronting people with the time costs. With modern technology, it is possible to use transponders to make collection easy. A possible way of solving the congestion problem is to buy tolls at peak times of travel on specified lanes of highways or even the entire highway. It is important the tolls be higher for peak times travel than for non-peak time travel in order to induce people to change their travel times to do so. It might even make sense to, in the toll revenues, to subsidize non-peak time travel! Alternatively, toll revenues could be used to subsidize buses or other forms of mass transit. Such subsidies are preferable to our current use of sales and property tax revenues to
subsidize mass transit.
Congestion charges do invite heated (and often misinformed) debate. Sometimes they are regarded as unfairly taxing people who simply need to travel at peak time. This criticism is not particularly well-founded. The whole point of congestion charges is to make travel easier for those who simply need to travel at peak times. So, much of the tolls paid by such individuals is returned to them in the form of quicker and easier commutes.
Professor Herbert Mohring of the University of Minnesota did much of the pioneering work in figuring out how large tolls should be. His best estimate was that an optimal toll on Interstate 35W would be of the rate of 20 cents per mile or about $2.00 to $3.00 for travel from the southern suburbs to Minneapolis. This is not a particularly onerous charge (it is less than the cost of parking in much of Minneapolis) and would go a long way to solving our congestion problem. (Some of his research can be found in a paper titled "Congestion" which appeared in pp. 181-222 of Jose A Gomez-Ibanez, William B. Tye, and Clifford Winston, Essays in Transportation Economics and Policy: A Handbook in Honor of John R. Meyer, Washington, DC: Brookings,1999.)