The public is being asked to weigh in on a new rapid transit line that will connect the east metro to downtown St. Paul.

Planning, design and development work is underway on the METRO Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit line that will serve Woodbury, Oakdale, Maplewood, Landfall and St. Paul. Service is scheduled to begin in 2024.

Both the state and federal government require a detailed environmental assessment of the project. That work has been completed, and the public has 30 days to review it and make comments that will be included in the final public record.

The environmental assessment considers a wide variety of possible impacts the project could have on the neighborhoods and communities it serves. Some of the topics covered include connection to community and social resources, impacts on the environment, historic properties and even indirect effects and long-term impacts.

“No one understands these impacts better than the people and organizations the line will serve,” said Gold Line Project Manager Christine Beckwith. “A successful transit line has to become part of the communities it serves. Feedback from the people and businesses who will use the line every day is essential and extremely helpful to us as we work to make sure the project becomes a seamless part of the community.”

The METRO Gold Line is a planned 10-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will connect St. Paul, Maplewood, Landfall, Oakdale and Woodbury with bus-only lanes generally north of and near Interstate 94. The Gold Line will provide more transit connections to the east metro with 21 transit stations and all-day service.

The project is being managed through a partnership between the Metropolitan Council, Metro Transit, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Ramsey and Washington counties, and the cities of St. Paul, Maplewood, Landfall, Oakdale, and Woodbury.

The environmental assessment has been completed and results are provided in the document. The 30-day public comment period is through Nov. 6. The full environmental assessment is available on the Gold Line project website, metrotransit.org/gold-line-environmental, and at local government offices and libraries throughout the corridor.

The Metropolitan Council is hosting public events to provide information on the environmental assessment, answer questions and offer an opportunity for public comment. The environmental assessment document along with supporting materials will be available for viewing. The public may also provide written comments or verbal comments on the document at these events. There will be no formal presentation. Public events will be held tomorrow (Oct. 22) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at East Side Learning Hub at Harding High School, 1526 Sixth St. E., St. Paul and Wednesday (Oct. 23), 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Landfall Community Center, 2 Fourth Ave., Landfall.

(1) comment

Morningstarr

Where will people be parking for this station on Wilson and Clarence? How often will the buses be stopping at the Etna station? What are the people who live immediately adjacent to this "station" supposed to do for privacy? Why are there no options for these people? The option for selling one's home is no longer an option. No one would buy it knowing the plans for construction. What will happen to property values? Do residents who oppose this have any options?

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