Brian Smalkoski from Kimley-Horn gave a comprehensive presentation on the Southeastern Minnesota Freight Rail Capacity Study carried out by Kimley-Horn. Currently freight rail runs entirely through Rochester, MN, in southeast Minnesota. As freight rail demand increases in the area, there is considerable interest to construct a rail to bypass the city. Various proposals were shown, with their relative benefits and costs.
John Levin, the Director of Service Development from Metro Transit gave our final TransTalk of the semester. Mr. Levin has been with Metro Transit for over 15 years. He discussed the parts of Metro Transit beyond BRT and LRT. His talk primarily focused on local and express bus service throughout the Twin Cities region. These are heavily used parts of the region’s transit system yet often receive less attention than LRT or BRT service.
On November 15th, Therese Polum from SRF was the guest speaker for our second TransTalk of the semester. Mrs. Polum discussed a current project of implementing variable message boards along the I494 corridor in the Twin Cities, as well as expansion to use shoulders as lanes along the congested corridor. Mrs. Polum also talked about a strategy currently used in the Netherlands, and possible implementation here in the Twin Cities.
The Annual NCITE/ITSO Joint Meeting was held on October 16th. The guest speakers were Bryant Ficek from TKDA and Mike Spack of Spack Consulting and discussed various transportation analysis software and their accuracy to field measurements. Their talk discussed comparisons of real-world collected data on multiple intersections and delay estimation with various software. The results were that most software is surprisingly inaccurate, though the analysis is often on the conservative side.
Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates participated in a transportation-focused ITSO-sponsored debate on the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus.
Participating Candidates: Betsy Hodges, Stephanie Woodruff, Dan Cohen, Cam Winton, and Bob Fine
Moderator: Paula Pentel
Co-hosts: Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, UrbanMSP, ITSO, and MUSSA, and streets.mn