Jun 24, 2009

TLC Bike Walk and Adopt a Project

I went to a Transit for Livable Communities meeting tonight. The main thrust of the evening event was to recruit concerned users to monitor/sponsor/adopt a project and then work the phones, take photos, send letters and emails, etc. to keep these moving and make sure that bike/walk commitments and opportunities are pursued during development of the projects. TLC passed out maps of the funded projects and a spreadsheet with some basic information (project name, TLC project number, grantee and completion date).

One thing i concluded is that there's something seriously wrong at The City if they are not keeping the funders apprised of project status and are not being accountable for delivering these projects that are approved and funded. That's pretty basic project control activity and would cause a lot of problems if somebody tried to do this in the private sector.

I was really disappointed to see the lack of attention that downtown MPLS is getting in these projects, but I won't go off on that issue again here. The fact is that that there are no plans to increase bike/walk ability on east-west routes downtown and the only north-south attention is Hennepin Ave.
So, given that, I looked at the map again to see if there was some other project near my routes that I could at least get behind. I saw one that looked good called the Southern Connector. I can't tell exactly what the project is from the information I got tonight, so I googled it and the only hit that looks close is this.
Not much help.
If you don't have the time or curiosity to follow the link, I'll tell you it takes you to TLC's own page, with a URL that says "Southern Connector" but you get a "Page Not Found" message.
I hope this "Adopt a Project" effort works. It would be very frustrating if these projects got funded but not followed through on. That said, "Adopt a Project" seems like kind of band-aid measure to me, however. I think the underlying problem is going to take more than volunteers hassling the City to get them to follow through. TLC and The City need to look at bigger, organizational and process level solutions here or we'll be chasing City people around trying to get things done for a very long time.

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