ST. PAUL (April 17, 2012) — How will most people get to the light rail in 2014? Chances are they’ll be walking!
On Sunday, May 6th, the District Councils Collaborative of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (DCC) will launch its three-week Walkability Survey, designed to gather on-the-ground, neighborhood-based information about walking conditions on routes to Central Corridor light rail stations. The goal is 1,500 surveys. How do we get there? 15 stations, 100 surveys each.
The survey kickoff on May 6th coincides with Jane’s Walk, an international day of walking that honors the legacy and ideas of Jane Jacobs. Ms. Jacobs was an urban activist and writer who believed strongly that local community members understand best how their neighborhoods work, and what is needed to strengthen and improve them.
The DCC couldn’t agree more and that is why we are inviting community members to join a group and take a walk to or from future LRT stations all along the line. Walks begin at 2:30 p.m. and are given and taken for free. To find out where the May 6th walks begin in each station area, go to www.dcc-stpaul-mpls.org/content/walkability-survey-registration or call the DCC at 651-528-8165.
The kickoff concludes with a Central Corridor Walkability Survey Reception with special guest Charles Landry. Landry, an international authority on the use of creativity in urban change and co-author of The Intercultural City, will lead a walk in the Western Station area and will make a few remarks at the reception.
Community members will be invited to share what they learned — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and to identify what would make the trip safer and more inviting. The reception is from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at the Central Corridor Resource Center, 1080 University Avenue W., St. Paul.
Those who can’t make the launch day walk and party can choose any station to walk to and complete the survey on their own any time between May 6th and May 28th. Participants can submit their survey responses on printed forms or online, and will be encouraged to upload photos and videos as well. Celebrity Walks will be scheduled throughout the three week period, led by local artists, actors, musicians, public officials, teachers and school principals, business and community leaders.
The goal of the Walkability Survey is to identify issues detracting from walkability, help prioritize the most needed pedestrian realm improvements, and provide the necessary data and guidance for Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Ramsey and Hennepin Counties, and MnDOT to prioritize and accelerate their work to make the walk to the light rail safe and enjoyable.
With the Central Corridor LRT going into service in just two years, it’s not too early to start building momentum for improvements to provide a safe, accessible and enjoyable walking environment for people of all ages and levels of mobility. Investing in the pedestrian realm will encourage more people to walk to Central Corridor stations, boost Central Corridor LRT ridership, and help to ensure that this billion dollar infrastructure project fulfills its potential.
Walkability Survey Timeline:
Sunday, May 6th – Walkability Survey Kickoff
2:30–4:00 pm – Group walks to and from LRT stations
4:00–5:30 pm – Walkability Kickoff Celebration, Central Corridor Resource Center, 1080 University Avenue W., St. Paul.
Sunday, May 6th to Monday, May 28th – 3-week window for community members to walk their route and complete Walkability Survey
Friday, June 1st – Celebrate survey conclusion, share highlights and walking experience
August – Release Central Corridor Walkability Report
For more information and to register for the Walkability Survey, go to: www.dcc-stpaul-mpls.org/content/walkability-survey-registration.