Chronology of the Stops For Us campaign

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April 2006

 Central Corridor Alternatives Analysis and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is released with alignment that does not include LRT stations at Western, Victoria, and Hamline.

 

May 2006

 Issues of 3 missing stations emerges as priority concern for community members in comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

 

March 2007

 Met Council includes study of stations at Western, Victoria, and Hamline in Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS).

 

Summer of 2007

 Stops for Us coalition convenes meetings of community allies and District Councils Collaborative initiates research on station spacing. The former University Avenue Community Coalition “Stops for Us” campaign is reactivated by District Councils Collaborative and Aurora St. Anthony NDC.

 

October 2007

 District Councils Collaborative submits comments to FTA regarding New Starts Rulemaking and the impacts of CEI on equitable access to transit for Environmental Justice neighborhoods on the eastern end of University Avenue. Comments were part of FTA Rulemaking process.

 

November 2007 

Community Meeting on Missing Stations — District Councils Collaborative’s research presented, elected officials declare public support for building stations; a Community Report is prepared and includes letters of support from many community organizations.

 

December 2007

 District Councils Collaborative presents research findings and Community Report on the three stations to Central Corridor Management Committee. Mayor Coleman of Saint Paul requests Project staff to prepare a response to the report.

 

January 2008

 Met Council adds “Listening Sessions” on project scope; Community allies organize citizen testimony at Listening Sessions and submit written testimony.

 

February 2008

 Met Council sets project scope, which includes infrastructure for the 3 stations; Met Council along with Project Partners commit to building out 1 station as part of the project if funding becomes available and/or the CEI changes; Met Council responds to DCC research report.

 

Summer 2008

 Stops coalition develops “Why It Matters” a PowerPoint presentation that makes the case for stations from a civil rights perspective using analysis prepared by Jewish Community Action; the presentation is later modified to include maps and data from Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

 

July 2008

 CEI Adjusted $0.50, which does not accommodate project inflation rate of 3.5%; Project Office reviews capital and operating costs; no additional CEI capacity to allow for inclusion of one station in project budget.

 

September 2008

 Title VI Review change in transit service for Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement finds three Census blocks on Western Avenue that will experience a reduction in transit service, yet finds no overall discriminatory impact on minority or low-income communities in the corridor; discussion of mitigating adverse effects of longer walks to access LRT and a decrease in frequency on Route 16 includes the possibility of building a station at Western and increasing the frequency on Route 16 above level required in the DEIS and SDEIS.

 

April 2009

 Community meeting with Norm West, National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) Principal Reviewer, U.S. Environmental Agency, Region 5 arranged by Preserve and Benefit Historic Rondo and Stops for Us Coalition; focus on Environmental Justice analysis and analysis of cumulative impacts on communities, Environmental Justice Communities in particular.

 

May/June 2009

 Preserve and Benefit Historic Rondo files Title VI Complaint that FTA and Met Council have failed to analyze adverse effects of the LRT project on minority communities and that “unless early on protections and benefits are intentionally put in place, its community [Rondo/African American] and other low-income and minority communities will not be around to enjoy light rail and prosper from its economic and revitalizing boom.” Over the next several months, many community organizations write letters of support and send to FTA Civil Rights Office.

 

June 2009

 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) recommends a transit service plan study and implementation of recommendations, if station is not built at Western.

 

July 2009

 Project Office presents seven different scenarios for building missing stations, which address timing, project schedule, budget, funding source, and policy; if stations are built after 2014 the additional cost could range from $6MM to $12MM per station; if a station is built as a change order to contract, it could cost an additional $8MM.

 

August 2009

 Record of Decision commits Metropolitan Council to developing a transit plan to mitigate potential decrease in transit service for the affected three-Census block area.

 

August 26, 2009

 CEI is increased to $24.99, which allows for Scope Additions up to $0.39 in CEI money; Central Corridor Management Committee does not include a station among the Scope Additions, rather they also announce that all three stations will be included as additive alternates to the Civil East construction contract and any additional Environmental Review will be completed; the City of Saint Paul will fund build-out of the first station ($5.2 MM), however, no action would be taken prior to Full Funding Grant Agreement.

 

Early October 2009

 Stops coalition learns that FTA no longer supports moving forward with Environmental Review and inclusion of stations as additive alternates to the project due to concerns over project segmentation and potential for a lawsuit.

 

October 16, 2009

 Concerned Asian Business Owners Association (CABO) files Title VI Complaint also claiming that there was an inadequate analysis of impacts on protected populations.

 

October 2009

 Stops for Us Coalition members talk with FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff at Rail~Volution conference. Rogoff offers to meet with community members when he is in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the opening of the North Star Commuter Line and a review of the Central Corridor LRT project with local partners.

 

November 13, 2009

 Stops for Us Coalition members meet with Administrator Rogoff and other top FTA officials at Central Corridor Resource Center to discuss concerns regarding missing stations, displacement, small business impacts, and gentrification.

 

December 2009

 Met Council announces Environmental Assessment of build out of three missing stations began on November 20th. This fulfills Environmental Review requirements for buildout of stations. Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority funds this study.

 

January 11, 2010

 Met Council/FTA publishes Environmental Assessment findings and sets public hearing for January 27, 2010.

 

January 13, 2010

 Transportation Secretary LaHood and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff announce policy shift regarding the CEI, which removes administrative barriers to building the missing stations.

 

January 19, 2010

 Preserve and Benefit Historic Rondo files a lawsuit around same issues identified in their Title VI complaint.

 

January 20, 2010

 Met Council announces that the FTA has agreed to provide 50% of the funding to build all three stations, if local sources are found. The City of Saint Paul has already committed $5.2 million.  With matching federal dollars, this allows for two stations to be built.

 

January 25, 2010

 At press conference convened by Secretary LaHood in St. Paul, officials announce funding to build out all three stations as part of the Central Corridor LRT project.  LaHood stresses that Central Corridor is a model for community involvement in transit planning and for the next generation of transit projects. 

$15.6 MM in Funding for stations:  FTA = $7.8; Saint Paul = $5.2; Counties Transit Improvement Board = $1.56; Ramsey County Regional Rail Authority = $520,000; Central Corridor Funders Collaborative = $520,000 — All funding is officially committed through resolutions or other means.

 

February 24, 2010

 Met Council votes unanimously to amend the Central Corridor Project scope and budget to include the three missing stations.

 

February 26, 2010

FTA issues a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” which allows for the inclusion of all three stations in the project. Project will soon enter Final Design.

 

December 15, 2010

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson the announces the Transportation Equity/ Stops for Us Coalition is the winner of a National Achievements in Environmental Justice Award for 2010 , at the first-ever White House Environmental Justice Forum, convened to highlight the Obama administration’s commitment to environmental justice and sustainable communities. 

 

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