Rochester DMC Transit Study groups tour, observe downtown - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Rochester DMC Transit Study groups tour, observe downtown

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

As the city continues to grow with Destination Medical Center, how people get around is a big piece of the puzzle.

Tuesday afternoon, experts toured Rochester, looking at things like transportation, transit, and parking, to see what we have, what needs to be improved or revamped, and what we need.

The focus was into four different focus points, that are part of the Rochester DMC Integrated Transit study, which affect coming and going into the Destination Medical Center.

Those points include Transit Circulator and Operations, Street Use and Operations, Parking and Travel Demand Management, and the City Loop.

"We're going to be reviewing some of the baseline data of what exists today in Rochester, identify some of the key issues and identify strategies that we might need to implement here, locally,” said Mitzi Baker, the Director of Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department.

"Our streets will get congested and clogged with vehicles if we don't find ways for people to get downtown more efficiently," said Baker.

One possible solution is adding more bus stops.

But another, suggests more "manual" methods.

"How do bikes fit into the situation, how do we accommodate additional pedestrian traffic?" brought up Timothy Siegfried, who works in Facilities Project Services at Mayo Clinic.

"How do we tame the traffic on this, make it more friendly for pedestrians? How do we green this up and really build a strong visual connection from downtown over to the river?” questioned Baker, on the tour Tuesday afternoon.

Crosswalks can help with the pedestrian safety.

"It includes flashing lights and some really neat design features like the light sconces on the sidewalks too, that not even just during the day but also the evening, it draws attention so you have a more visible safe, pedestrian crossing," said Baker.

Or just slowing down

"We actually improved the efficiency of the corridor at the same time by lowering the speed," said Richard Freese of Public Works, who brought up the lowering of speed in the past has increased the street efficiency.

But nonetheless, one thing is for certain, these four groups' findings and solutions will make a huge impact.

"We have to be looking at things like transit, walking and biking. And how those strategies get implemented, successfully, is going to be key to our success of downtown and to DMC," said Baker.

The four teams plan to show their findings and some possible solutions to the public in early 2017.

The goal is to have a final plan worked up by the end of 2017, to allow work to begin.

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