Excerpt from the minutes of the 5/23/05 meeting of the Roseville City Council

Adopt Highway 36 Resolution

Councilmember Maschka noted that he had requested discussion and consideration of this resolution to keep the pressure on MnDOT and the State for federal funding to alleviate freeway congestion in the northern suburbs. Councilmember Maschka opined that he was open to revised language and suggested staff draft and format the document in accordance with the City’s resolution language as appropriate.

Maschka moved, Kough seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10309 entitled, "Resolution Regarding Highway 36 prepared for the Roseville City Council Study Session, May 16, 2005, by the Roseville Citizens League;" and authorizing staff to move forward in drafting appropriate language and format for a City of Roseville resolution for presentation to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT); Governor Pawlenty; and legislative leaders of the State Senate and House of Representatives; Chair of the House Transportation Finance Committee Senator Steve Murphy; and Chair of the Transportation Budget Division of the Senate Finance Committee, and other appropriate leaders, to provide for appropriate government contracts; gauge bordering municipalities and their support of such a resolution; to continue to encourage designation of funds within the MnDOT budget for addition of a third eastbound lane to Highway 36 from the western terminus to the interchange with Highway I-35E; or to consider other alternatives to alleviate traffic congestion in the northern suburb corridors.

Councilmember Kough spoke in support of the motion; and encouraged inclusion of meetings and or correspondence with Senators Dayton and Coleman.

Mayor Klausing called for public comment at this time.

John Kysylyczyn, 3083 N Victoria Street

Mr. Kysylyczyn spoke in opposition to the proposed motion, opining that it would make the City look foolish citing no past practice by MnDOT for freeway extension lanes in only one direction; lack of focus on highest congestion points on Highway 36; lack of involvement in decision-making in transportation funding by the legislature; and previous recommendations by the I-35W Corridor Coalition for such a proposal, and lack of Roseville City Council interest in working with the Coalition. Mr. Kysylyczyn advised that, if the City Council adopted such a resolution, he would provide his historical perspective and comments as well.

Doug Root, 2658 N Hamline Avenue

Mr. Root opined that it would be helpful if the City Council took a position, and while not wedded to the specific proposed language, noted that the discussion had come up in January at a City Council Study Session, and was recommended by the MnDOT representative at that time. Mr. Root noted that he had also received support of such a resolution by Senator John Marty and other legislative leaders.

There was no additional public comment; and City Council discussion resumed.

Councilmember Schroeder spoke in opposition to the motion, opining that it was a "dead issue." Councilmember Schroeder noted that he had previously sought cost information, as recently provided by MnDOT and staff, for an extra lane on Highway 36, and those findings and staff comment had confirmed that the City was not in a position to advance funds for such a project. Councilmember Schroeder further opined that alternatives needed to be found that would not encourage drivers to get off the freeway systems and further deteriorate the City street’s infrastructure; and that the City Council would be more successful in pursuing global transportation alternatives, such as light rail transportation, mass transit, or be more pro-active in encouraging enhancement of Highway 36 all the way to White Bear Lake to accommodate thru-traffic. Councilmember Schroeder concurred with Mr. Kysylyczyn’s comments regarding the appropriate people to make transportation decisions, opining that it should be done at the staff and Commissions at the MnDOT level, not by elected officials.

Councilmember Maschka requested Councilmember’s clarification of a previous suggestion regarding federal funding programs for an additional lane on Highway 36 between I-35W and I-35E.

Councilmember Schroeder briefly outlined federal funding available through the "T-21" program; but opined that applications would need to be submitted immediately.

Councilmember Maschka questioned why south metro suburb areas received more transportation funding than the northern suburbs; and expressed his desire to work with other communities to pursue grants and press for getting something done along Highway 36.

Councilmember Ihlan spoke in support of the motion, while agreeing that the Council should consider other options; but opined that this resolution would send a message to the legislature, surrounding communities and MnDOT that the City was taking an active leadership position in pursuing alternative transportation issues.

Councilmember Schroeder reiterated his opinion that other options needed to be considered; and spoke in opposition to the motion.

Councilmember Maschka recognized Councilmember Schroeder’s position; but continued to support the need for such a motion and process.

Roll Call

Ayes: Maschka; Kough; Ihlan and Klausing.
Nays: Schroeder.