Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition
meeting 8/10/2010 7:00PM to 8:30 Approximately Jimmie Lee/Oxford Recreation Center, Saint Paul

In attendance:

Robert Welsh, Nancy Welsh, Kurt Schroeder, Steve Clark, Brady Clark, Cindy Zerger, Dana DeMaster, Mike Madden (Ward 4), Jeff Zaayer, Deb Alper (Ward 3), Todd Zerger, Matt Cole, Steve Gjerdingen

How should we organize this Group?

One possibility is to be a subcommittee of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, use their 501©3 and have them act as fiscal agent with any funding we have. We share similar mission and goals.

See agenda

Linwood Rec Center

Greenway is multi-use. Should we promote multi-use facility for St Paul, rather than bikes only? The more people we can get behind us, the better. Nancy Welsh thinking more multi-use like Greenway. Perhaps broaden the University Ave goal to include all transportation and recreational projects (actually, our suggested letter is written from an automobile parking and pedestrian standpoint, not just a bicycle view).

Standing committees:

University Avenue–basically Andy Singer, Mike Madden and Dana DeMaster–trying to get letters of support on University Avenue reprogramming.

Communications Matt Cole, Todd Zerger, Andy Singer. This is mainly the website at the moment.

Bicycle Plan Committee A suggested new committee. Review current plan, make recommendations, chase down details. Cindy Zerger, Dana DeMaster, Jeff Zaayer, Deb Alper expressed interest.

Brady Clark: Saint Paul lacks a proper bicycle plan. We should differentiate a comprehensive bike plan from the bicycle portion of the city’s Transportation Plan. Transportation Plan is a chapter of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, so “Comprehensive” might be a bad choice of words from a confusion point of view.

Make sure website and Facebook are updated with these events.

As the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition, who speaks for us? We should have some officers. We should elect a Chair and Vice-Chair. Perhaps next meeting? In the meantime, we name a Secretary: Matt Cole, as I like to take notes anyway.

Matt Cole: Come up with list of groups that need following…District Councils, City Council, Greenway Committee, etc. Run this by Steve Clark and Mike Madden (and other interested parties), post to web site with links.

As an organization:

Decide on become a subcommittee of the BAM or being our own non-profit.

Also need to decide on what constitutes a proper vote. Consensus vs majority vote decision making at meetings.

Nice to be independent. Good to be an entity. May not be worth it for small amounts of money. Minneapolis Bike Coalition is more interested in being independent. As a 501©3 you can’t support individual candidates…you can lobby for bills, testify on positions, but no support individuals. Of course, getting the 501©3 recognition from IRS might take a year or more, requires budgets, etc. And we’d have those rules anyway as part of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

Perhaps start off with BAM as fiduciary. We’d be a subcommittee of BAM. We’d be regulated by their by-laws.

Much discussion about membership qualifications and voting (quorum notes). Who gets to vote? What constitutes a member? Is a quorum needed, and what constitutes a quorum? A bit gunshy on quorums as this is how Bicycle Advisory Board was strangled–Mayor’s office declined to name interested and qualified people to open positions yet asserted that a quorum was a majority of the established seats. It became impossible to meet quorum requirements.

Other issue: stacking meetings. If anyone can vote, can an adversarial group sent in large number of people to overwhelm our votes? This comes down to who gets to vote–anyone attending meeting? Paid members? Minimum of 2 or 3 meetings attended in past 6 months or a year?

A bit self-flattering here, as we consider who gets to wield our huge influence! Still, good to think these things through while a young organization. Probably will need to come up some by-laws. On the other hand, we’re not a public entity so we are not subject to the same sorts of open meetings laws that the Bicycle Advisory Board was.

Updates from July Meeting:

University Avenue bicycle accommodation–getting others to sign on letter we wrote (off-street parking letter). They (MIke and Andy?) are also working with Community Agreements Coordinating Committee (CACC)

Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota signed our letter

Meeting with Hamline Midway Trasport Committee tomorrow (August 11).

Mike Madden: push from CACC is for push for review of similar corridors around country to see what they did with LRT projects. Looking to put together persuasive paper to show one lane, one parking, one bicycle. Nancy Homans (aid to Mayor Coleman) said bike lane might be problem because there might not be reaction space for cars. Steve Clark said that we have substandard lane on Marshall and it works ok. Why not make the exception on University as well? Steve Clark: no need for design exception or variance. If we truly have 25 ft either side of the rail line, we can do:

1 ft clearance from median, 11 ft travel lane, 5 ft bike lane, 8 ft parking <–on University.

This compares to Marshall: No clearance from median, 11 ft travel lane, 5 ft bike lane, 7 ft parking. This required a variance to squeeze it into 23 ft. On University we have 25 ft.

The full funding grant agreement, once in place, we can push on the lane programming. Will be in touch with FTA (Federal Transit Administration) to see if they object. The old cost effectiveness index (CEI) would have prohibited this; now it might not be an issue. Dana DeMaster, Andy Singer and Mike Madden are reaching out to other organizations to see if they join in, with our letter or their own. Alliance for Metropolitan Stability; NPER, Tracy Farr at NOW Bikes (is representing NOW at Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition) and is going to see if they can use our proposal as an example. University Avenue Business Association has internally endorsed this and is looking further. SAP community council looking at this in September.

Open House on Como. Thursday August 12 at Como Park Conservatory.

Greenway Committee meeting tomorrow night (8/11/2010). There was a summit with 120 people on 728. Lots of enthusiastic people. Saint Paul lost suit to condemn CP Rail for Ayd Mill segment. In has been since 1998 the city has recognized the Greenway as an important project for the city. The city has applied for and then lost the funding multiple times. The city then said condemnation would be a slam dunk. Interstate Commerce Clause of 1995 says only Feds can force railway into land use agreeemnt. City not going to appeal. Mike Madden: thinks that city should do some study to see if there is room for Greenway and railroad expansion. CP Rail wants to keep room for second line, expecting possible commuter rail and increased demand for rail freight. Perhaps Saint Paul should see if we can feds to condemn.

Note that condemnation wasn’t first communication with railroad–it was 1998 when Public Works first approached. CP Rail said look at east side; funding came in, rr said no, won’t work. Etc. This is an issue that could use an Issues page on our website.

Meeting done shortly after 8:30. Small group retired to Pizza Luce and went home in epic rain (5” in Roseville overnight).

Respectfully submitted,

Matthew Cole