An Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 7: Minneapolis-St. Paul Case Study Page: VII
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This report assesses how one of nine major
United States metropolitan areas made its decisions
about the development or modernization of rail
The assessment of the nine cities attempts to
identify the factors that help communities, facing
critical technological choices, make wise decisions
that are consistent with local and national goals for
transit. The study investigates the following issues:
Z Are there major barriers to communication
and cooperation among governmental
agencies involved in transit planning and
operating? Do these barriers interfere with
making sound decisions ?
* Do transit decisions reflect the combined
interests of all major public groups, in
cluding citizen organizations, trade unions,
the business community, and others ?
* Does the planning process provide enough
information about the advantages and
disadvantages of alternative courses of
action to provide a solid basis for making
* Does the availability or lack of financing, or
the conditions under which financing has
been provided, unnecessarily limit the
range of options that are considered?
The ultimate purpose of the work has been to
cast light on those prospective changes in national
transit policy and administrative programs which
might improve, in different ways and to different
extents, the way communities plan mass transit
systems. The nine cities were selected to represent
the full range of issues that arise at different stages
in the overall process of planning and developing a
San Francisco, for example, has the first regional
rail system built in decades, while Denver is
planning an automated system, and voters in
Seattle have twice said "no" to rail transit funding
The assessment of transit planning in each of the
nine metropolitan areas has been an inquiry into an
evolving social process. Consequently, the study
results more closely resemble historical analysis
than classical technology assessment.
This study employs a set of evaluation guidelines
to orient the investigation in the nine metropolitan
areas and to provide the basis for comparative
judgments about them. The guidelines were
derived from issues identified during preliminary
visits to the metropolitan areas, a review of Federal
requirements for transit planning, and an in
vestigation via the literature into the state-of-the
art in the field.
The evaluation guidelines cover major topics
which were investigated during the case assess
ment process. They deal with the character of the
institutional arrangements and the conduct of the
technical planning process,
GUIDELINES FOR ASSESSMENT:
Some of the most significant influences on
transit planning are exerted by the organizations
responsible for conducting the planning and
making the decisions. Three guidelines were used
to evaluate the institutional arrangements in the
nine metropolitan areas:
* Agencies responsible for various aspects of
transit decisionmaking should cooperate
effectively in a clearly designated "forum".
* The participants in this forum should have
properly designated decisionmaking
authority, and the public should have
formal channels for holding decision
makers accountable for their actions.
* Citizens should participate in the transit
planning process from its beginning and
should have open lines of communication
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United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. An Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit, Volume 7: Minneapolis-St. Paul Case Study, report, February 1976; [Washington D.C.]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39352/m1/4/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.