Engage East Side

Engage East Side is a coalition of organizations on the East Side of St. Paul, initiated and coordinated by ESPC, that works to engage underrepresented communities in influencing transit planning and decisions. Our goal is to involve communities of color (which are the majority of the East Side’s population) in local decision-making for development projects, beginning with a focus on the Gateway Corridor. Engage East Side is funded by the Corridors of Opportunity, a joint initiative of the Metropolitan Council and the St. Paul Foundation and McKnight Foundation. Continue Reading

What’s happening with the Gateway Corridor?

Despite some setbacks with transportation funding this legislative session, the Gateway Commission will move toward the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) phase, with its route from the Union Depot through Woodbury. The path would take it along Kellogg and Mounds Boulevards and Hudson Road.The Gateway Commission will form three committees over the summer: Community, Policy, and Technical Advisory Committees will oversee the planning process. The Engage East Side Resident Network is working closely with Commission members to ensure that the Community Advisory Committee (the CAC), will receive appropriate representation from East Side residents and business owners.This fall, a number of “scoping hearings” will take place as the first step in the DEIS process. These hearings will seek public input into the variables for inclusion in the Environmental Impact study.The primary decision during scoping is whether the DEIS will move forward with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or Light Rail Transit (LRT) as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), which they hope to complete by July 2014. After more public engagement and a great deal of engineering, the project aims to break ground in 2020.This fall’s scoping meetings will attempt to gauge resident and business-owner concerns with respect to the Gateway Corridor. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Challenges of Gateway Corridor for Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood

2012 saw the continuation of transit plans that could impact Dayton’s Bluff in ways that recall the 1964 construction of Interstate 94, as the Gateway Corridor Commission chose its route for an arterial transitway that would link downtown St. Paul and the East Metro.How did neighbors miss this? A bit of history…In early 2011, the Gateway Commission began hosting a listserv, a Facebook page, and meetings meant to engage various stakeholders in route and mode planning. Dayton’s Bluff saw 12 of the 59 meetings in the district, two of which were public. The other ten included entities like community councils, business associations, and Engage East Side – an association of East Side nonprofits, hosted by the East Side Prosperity Campaign.By the Bluff’s first public meeting in July 2011 at Metro State University, a proposed East 3rd Street route had been eliminated. Continue Reading