You are warmly invited to a community meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Arlington Hills Community Center at 1200 Payne Avenue, St. Paul.
This meeting is called by the Payne Phalen District Five Board for the community to view results of community organizing to improve MN DOT’s Cayuga and MNPASS projects.
District Five worked with MN DOT to seek improvements in the plans after learning that a critical east-west underpass connection would be destroyed but not replaced. D5 advocated for better access and connections, biking and pedestrian amenities for our neighborhood and for a fair, equitable plan. We were joined by supportive Ramsey County Commissioners in the affected area. D5 met with State MN DOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle and supportive public partners from the County and State. Several groups provided strong advocacy support. All voices contributed to a growing vision of a well connected, integrated and accessible system that more fairly serves communities on both sides of I-35E, the East Side and St. Paul as a whole.
Last year, over 150 residents participated in a D5 meeting with MN DOT on July 31, 2013 at the Arlington Hills Lutheran Church. At that energetic meeting, our Payne Phalen community clearly demonstrated this neighborhood insists upon better access, connection, safety, and improved quality in the two projects. The community endorsed District Five’s original requests to MN DOT. The meeting was documented by local media, SPNN and District Five.
The documented public input and project goals were handed off to public partners who were tasked to find a way to design, develop and pay for the requested improvements.
Public partners have met and negotiated over the past year to develop improved plans and find ways to fund the projects. The State and Ramsey County have stepped up to fund and implement the projects.
In Payne Phalen neighborhoods – our work for equity in transportation and transit planning is far from done. Significant improvements are required of our public systems to more fairly and effectively engage with local diverse communities. Context sensitive transportation and transit plans require solid work with impacted communities. We know firsthand what changes are needed for public systems to improve outreach, communications and engagement. This is core work to achieving good results from public investments. Work is required to engage and hear all voices. Our hope is that public systems will prioritize and invest in this essential capacity building work that allows the public to be fully and fairly at the table in planning for major public projects.
Thursday’s October 30th meeting is a community milestone. Your work highlights how significant community change can be launched with vocal neighborhood organizing, effective work with allies and public partners. , and the hard work and passion of many neighbors. You spoke up and helped to secure a better deal for our neighborhood, the East Side and our City.
Payne Phalen District Five Planning Council