October 29 2012

Towards a New Multi-Modal System of Transportation in the Twin Cities: Minneapolis & Saint Paul, MN

Multi-Modal System of Transportation in the Twin Cities

Envision a scenario consisting of a strong urban core with dispersing traffic; mixed-income housing; new construction; streets, and building scale meant to reinforce a village-like atmosphere. With the help of zoning and regulations; subdivision ordinances; and transportation services, more and more cities nowadays are seeking to recreate. The Twin Cities are doing just that by means of an important economic driving force: multi-modal transportation system.

Once home to the first urban transportation network: the streetcar, Minneapolis is embarking on various transportation projects. Currently, the Hiawatha Light Rail and Northstar Commuter Rail Lines serve as connecting routes between major tourist points, sports arenas, and northern suburbs. In addition to only serving a minor population, the Light Rail Transportation (LRT) system is expensive and costly to maintain, especially at a time of cut backs. LRT can diminish funding for other forms of transportation, while increasing bus fares for those who rely on public transportation the most: the low-income. To mitigate this, the Twin Cities are developing solutions through various on-going projects set to create pedestrian-friendly environments & increase ridership:

Multi-Modal System of Transportation in the Twin CitiesMulti-Modal System of Transportation in the Twin Cities

Transportation is an essential element in establishing sustainable communities and the creation of a dense urban core. Most importantly, it has to generate ridership by providing equitable services to various populations. Based on current projects and previous precedents, will these efforts generate and encourage dense and walkable environments or will some of these modes fail due to lack of ridership and demand?

Most importantly, who do you think would most benefit from these services and how will that affect the inner-city population and those who depend on public transit the most?

Credits: Data linked to sources. Images by author and Frankie Adams.

Jasna Hadzic

Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but having spent most of her adult life in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.; Jasna Hadzic has been greatly influenced by both cultures, most specifically in terms of architecture, planning, and design. The transition of living in a small European pedestrian-oriented city to a large and vehicle-oriented American city greatly influenced her interest in the field of planning. She came to appreciate the vibrant, culturally diverse and faster-pace of life, while also looking toward her native city as a paradigm of sustainable living with traditional architecture, multi-modal transportation systems, and pedestrian-friendly spaces and streets. A recent Master’s graduate in Community and Regional Planning and G.I.S from Iowa State University, Jasna’s Thesis focused on the analysis of the built environment and demographic factors that influence physical activity, while examining street connectivity and infrastructure. In addition, Jasna holds a B.E.D. in Environmental Design, with a minor in Urban Studies, from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Her most recent work experience as a Planning Research Assistant at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, as well as volunteer work with the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has exposed her to new city projects, as well as community engagement. Her career goal is to not only work directly on sustainable urban design projects, but to also ensure equitable and sustainable planning practices.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 29th, 2012 at 10:23 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Infrastructure, Land Use, Transportation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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3 Responses to “Towards a New Multi-Modal System of Transportation in the Twin Cities: Minneapolis & Saint Paul, MN”

  1. Kristen Montag Says:

    Just to let you know, the Bicycling Mag designation was actually in 2010. In 2012, they named Portland #1 and Minneapolis #2. However, Minneapolis has been named #1 by Bike Score and has many other accolades, as well as the second largest and oldest bike share program in the country.

  2. Jasna Hadzic Says:

    Kristen, thank you for the correction and the additional commentary. Nonetheless, that was my point exactly that the city of Minneapolis has a stable enough foundation to sustain a multi-modal form of transportation, and biking is most definitely one of them.

  3. Farewell From Jasna Hadzic and Minneapolis, Minnesota | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    […] the topic of urban planning and cities in a comprehensive way by examining the different facets of transportation, land use, economic development, sustainability, et cetera, and through the application of old […]

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