Policy and a Pint®: Bikes, Buses and Beyond

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Policy and a Pint
Host Steve Steel and Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond panelists at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. (MPR / Leah Garaas)
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At Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond, looks at how our region is adapting to the changing needs and desires of residents in both urban and rural areas with regards to mass transit, ride share, biking culture and that mainstay of American transportation: the mighty car.

The Current's Steve Seel is joined by guest panelists Charlie Zelle, Commissioner at Minnesota Department of Transportation, Rita Albrecht, mayor of Bemidji, and John Doan, Director - Housing, Community Works and Transit at Hennepin County for a lively discussion on all things Minnesota transportation.

Listen to the conversation above, or download the MP3. Find choice quotes from the discussion below.

On building for the future:

"We have to fix what we have first — absolutely. And actually modernize it. When we add new capacity in the metro area, we actually don't add just a general-purpose lane, generally, we almost always add a transit lane ... we will not be able to 'build our way' like we did in the '60s and '70s. We have to be strategic about it, but it has to be part of a puzzle that incorporates transit, incorporates bike lanes, incorporates main streets, pedestrian space — so it adds to how we think of transportation going forward."

  —Charlie Zelle, Minnesota Department of Transportation

On baby boomers' and millennials' wants and needs:

"I think that what some people call 'the metro revolution' has started. One of the things that I see is not so much that the millennials are choosing a different path, it's that the millennials and the baby boomers are choosing a different path. I think that baby boomers—what their expectations are in their years of retirement—are very similar to the millennials. They want good access to transit, they want to be able to walk to the doctor and to the grocery store. They want to have community, just like we all want to have community. They've lived the life of the 3-car garage, and I think a lot of them are making other choices in their sunset years."

  —John Doan, Hennepin County Community Works

On Bemidji's approach to transportation:

"We had a lot of folks (in Bemidji) that said, 'We need to start thinking about having a more active transportation system.' So we got grants over five years time to invest in strategies for active living. Part of that also was just to build that advocacy for multi-modal transportation. And so, all of a sudden, our city council started to talk about having sidewalks in all subdivisions and so we changed our zoning ordinance. We start to talk about if we're going to have a bike lane on one of our streets that we're going to re-do. We talking about having a great separated trail — and so, 'Let's narrow that street up, it's way too wide, that right-of-way makes everyone go too fast.' And so, your community can start investing in those things and then you leverage those other dollars."

  —Rita Albrecht, Mayor of Bemidji

Policy and a Pint™ is a co-presentation with the Citizens League, and is made possible by Target Corporation.

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  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Guests tweet questions for Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)
  • Policy and a Pint
    Policy and a Pint: Bikes, Buses and Beyond at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall (MPR / Leah Garaas)